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Failure to Appear: Resistance, Identity and Loss, A Memoir
Emily L. Quint Freeman
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In 1969, Emily Freeman, then Linda J. Quint, engaged in an act of conscience with seventeen others, burning thousands of draft records on the Southside of Chicago to keep poor and minority men from being drafted into the Vietnam War, an action that the Catholic priests, Dan and Phil Berrigan, had taken one year earlier. She stood trial and was to be sent to prison for 10 years followed by 10 years probation. She fled and lived underground for 19 years.
She had also come out as a lesbian to her parents while a student at UC Berkeley, and had already lost their financial and emotional support.
Failure to Appear is Emily L. Quint Freeman’s story of finally turning herself in–facing the past, her sexual truth and her life underground.
It is an extraordinary story and beautifully written.
“Failure to Appear is a fierce coming of age story of a political activist, a young woman and of a generation. When it becomes as clear to the reader as it does to Emily Freeman that “In a mad country, it’s sane to be insane” the urgency of being a part of progressive change is a body slam that takes your breath away. That visceral response is even stronger when we understand that this truth is as crucial today as it was in our country’s past. This book takes its place alongside the searing and sensitive memoirs of other moral dissenters who’ve helped change the course our history.”
–Jewelle Gomez, author, poet, critic and playwright
Emily has just published an article, on 3/5/20, on the website “Open Democracy” entitled “We Shall Overcome Only If We Make It So.” The article details the 1969 draft records burning action, and relates it to our need to commit to action in order to change the circumstances of our times. It’s a powerful introduction to her thinking and to her writing. Read the article here.
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