Wild Woman

A Footnote, the Desert, and My Quest for an Elusive Saint

Wild Woman

A Footnote, the Desert, and My Quest for an Elusive Saint

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Runaway. Castaway. Prostitute. Hermit. Desert dweller. Saint. Boundary breaker. Archetypal wild woman. In the corner of a library, in a dusty stack of books, in the footnote of an obscure text, journalist Amy Frykholm discovered a short citation about Mary of Egypt, all but unknown to most, and herself a footnote in ancient history. Not knowing why or from where, Frykholm felt called by this ancient woman's story. Thus begins the story of her decades-long search to uncover the truth about the woman who, by her own devices, figured out how to acquire what she most wanted--and when she did, discovered that it wasn't enough.

With a scholar's eye and a mystic's heart, Frykholm offers a look at an elusive and dynamic figure from history while offering insights into our own inner--and potentially rewilded--lives. In search of Mary, the author traveled throughout Egypt, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan, walking deeper and deeper into the desert, across thresholds of space and time, to find the meaning of Mary of Egypt's life--as well as her own embrace of the wild and sacred within.


"With her well-known penchant for saints and weirdos, Amy Frykholm leads us on a scholarly and personal adventure to discover Mary of Egypt, an ancient Christian mystic whose life and teachings are urgent and necessary for all of us today."

Eliza Griswold, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and poet

"I was powerfully moved. The writing is sublime. Beautifully written and wise, Wild Woman is an absolute treasure."

Mirabai Starr, translator of the mystics and author of Caravan of No Despair and Wild Mercy

"A valuable meditation on the nature of pilgrimage, when every seemingly wrong turn in the road can lead to discoveries never imagined."

Kathleen Norris, author of Dakota: A Spiritual Geography

"Spiritually refreshing."

Barbara Holmes, author of Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church

"A captivating account. A story about desire, in every sense of the word--a tale as wild as the spiritual quest can sometimes be. I couldn't stop reading."

Belden Lane, author of The Solace of Fierce Landscapes

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506471853
  • eBook ISBN 9781506471860
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 7.75
  • Pages 217
  • Publication Date August 3, 2021