EMILY L QUINT FREEMAN is the author of a singular memoir, entitled Failure to Appear: Resistance, Identity and Loss, which will be released on March 1, 2020 for Women’s History Month. A chapter of this book has been published by Narratively, a digital magazine dedicated to authentic storytelling. She has appeared on CNN Evening News and NPR’s All Things Considered; interviewed by numerous progressive radio stations, such as KPFA; and covered/quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, National Catholic Reporter, Associated Press, InfoWeek, Wired, and The John Liner Review, among others. A lesbian activist, she began her commitment to peace and social justice while at UC Berkeley during the turbulent period of social and political change in the ‘60s. When she isn’t writing, you might find Emily planting veggie seeds in her garden or at her piano playing Scriabin.
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
Emily Freeman’s Failure to Appear recounts, with dazzling clarity and unflinching honesty, her nineteen years as a fugitive. A story of identity, family, sexuality, and conscience, ultimately this memoir celebrates how one woman – while living under various aliases – grows into herself, free at last to love and live in truth and resistance.
~Lindsey Crittenden, author
Failure to Appear is a page-turner, a powerful and courageous story of a woman risking everything to stand up for what is right and for her own truth. Her details are stunning, humorous and sensuous as she lives life underground, cut off from family and friends. Ultimately, the book inspires all of us to fight for what is right and to be our true selves.
~Louise Nayer, is the author of five books, including an O, the Oprah Magazine Great Read, Burned: A Memoir.
This is a thoroughly detailed document of a lesbian in a closet within a closet. As compelling as a novel, it brings back the conflicts and clashes of the 1960s, the misunderstood compassion for our soldiers in Viet Nam, and the consequences of one woman’s principled and inspiring resistance. I was ever eager to return to her story each time I had to put it down.
~ Lee Lynch, Award Winning Author of The Swashbuckler, An American Queer, Rainbow Gap, and more
I met Emily Freeman 50 years ago in a Quaker-sponsored draft counselling office in Chicago. Lots of people gave me lots of advice about how to avoid going to Vietnam to fight in a war I could not support. Emily and I talked for less than 45 minutes. Her words with their cool moral clarity decided my course of action. On the morning I was to report for U.S. Army bootcamp, I went to Toronto, Canada, where I became a wanted-by-the-FBI fugitive and where I still live and work as a university professor. A few years ago, I searched for Emily. She had changed her name to avoid capture, so she was hard to find. I wanted to thank Emily for her gift to my life. I felt thrilled when I found her through a published excerpt of Failure to Appear. I found not only the person who helped me change my life but an amazing (first time!) writer. Her astonishing memoir brings alive the terrifying, confusing, exhilarating times (lates 60s early 70s) when everything sacred—our nation, our personal identities, our relationships to family—imploded and forced us to re-invent ourselves. Failure to Appear offers its readers beautiful moving stories, can’t-put-it-down suspense, and a vivid, unromanticised picture of courage and integrity. America needs this story NOW.
~Guy Allen, Associate Professor (Writing) University of Toronto