The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

Published by: HarperOne
Pages: 240
ISBN13: 978-0061144899
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•  Originally published by HarperOne, 1996
•  Special 20th anniversary edition with a new introduction from the author, 2016

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the book’s publication, this special edition has been released with a brand new Introduction by the author. In the last two decades, this groundbreaking memoir has become a classic work of feminine spiritual discovery that has impacted hundreds of thousands of readers, and is as compelling today as when it was first published. The genesis of the author’s bestselling fiction lies within the journey described in these pages.

“I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised, and, in fact, a little terrified, when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening."
—Sue Monk Kidd

For years, Sue Monk Kidd was a conventionally religious woman. Then, in the late 1980s, she experienced an unexpected awakening and began a journey toward a feminine spirituality. With the exceptional storytelling skills that have helped make her name, Kidd tells her very personal story of the fear, anger, healing, freedom, and empowerment she experienced on the path toward the wholeness that many women have lost within faith traditions. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore, to monastery retreats, to rituals in the caves of Crete, she reveals a new level of feminine spiritual consciousness for all women, one that has the power to transform in the most positive ways every fundamental relationship in a woman's life—most notably her relationship with herself.

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Tenth Anniversary Interview


"A masterpiece of women’s wisdom."
—Christiane Northrup, M.D. author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

"A graceful account of awakening and transformation."
—Library Journal

"The author’s journey to capture her feminine soul and live authentically from that soul makes a fascinating, well-researched and well-written story... A hopeful call to self-discovery."
—Publishers Weekly

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It was autumn, and everything was turning loose. I was running errands that afternoon. Rain had fallen earlier, but now the sun was out, shining on the tiny beads of water that clung to the trees and sidewalks. I parked in front of the drugstore where my daughter, Ann, fourteen, had an after-school job. Leaping a puddle, I went inside.

I spotted her right away kneeling on the floor in the toothpaste section, stocking a bottom shelf. I was about to walk over and say hello when I noticed two middle-aged men walking along the aisle toward her. They looked like everybody’s father. They had moussed hair and wore knit sport shirts the color of Easter eggs, the kind of shirts with tiny alligators sewn at the chest. It was a detail I would remember later as having ironic symbolism.

My daughter did not see them coming. Kneeling on the floor, she was intent on getting the boxes of Crest lined up evenly. The men stopped, peered down at her. One man nudged the other. He said, “Now that's how I like to see a woman— on her knees.”

Read the full excerpt