Ashley Judd


In 2002, award-winning film and stage actor Ashley Judd found her true calling: as a humanitarian and voice for those suffering in neglected parts of the world. After her first trip to the notorious brothels, slums, and hospices of southeast Asia, Ashley knew immediately that she wanted to advocate on behalf of the vulnerable. During her travels, Judd started to write diaries that detailed extraordinary stories of survival and resilience. But along the way, she realized that she was struggling with her own emotional pain, stemming from childhood abandonment and abuse. Seeking in-patient treatment in 2006 for the grief that had nearly killed her, Judd found not only her own recovery and an enriched faith but the spiritual tools that energized and advanced her feminist social justice work. In this deeply moving and unforgettable memoir, Judd describes her odyssey, from lost child to fiercely dedicated advocate, from anger and isolation to forgiveness and activism. In telling it, she answers the ineffable question about the relationship between healing oneself and service to others.

“An important and moving memoir. … Every reader will be inspired.”—Bill Clinton

“Powerful … a tour de force.”—Washington Examiner

“A fascinating story.”—The Washington Post

“Judd’s resolve and dedication to her work is humbling and inspiring, and her memoir is fantastic.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Amazingly, searingly frank. … As I read her account of her childhood, I ask, ‘How could one so traumatized, so abused in childhood, become the woman we know, so caring, so altruistic, so compassionate, so concerned for others, and so joyful?’”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Ashley Judd is an actor, advocate and activist. She recently graduated with a master’s from Harvard Kennedy School and continues to appear in films. She serves on the board of directors of Population Services International, Defenders of Wildlife, and the leadership councils of International Center for Research on Women and Apne Aap Worldwide. She has addressed the United Nations, the Senate Foreign Relations committee, and the National Press Club, has served as an expert for the Clinton Global Initiative and the International AIDS Conference, and her op-eds have been published in major newspapers.  Maryanne Vollers is the author of Ghosts of Mississippi, a finalist for the National Book Award. She has also collaborated on two memoirs: Living History, with Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Ice Bound, with Jerri Nielsen, both #1 New York Times bestsellers.

Rights: Ballantine, World English; Weltbild, Poland

All other rights: Union Literary