Coming soon: Ashley Judd’s memoir, ALL THAT IS BITTER AND SWEET
Ashley Judd is best known as the acclaimed actress in films such as De Lovely and Double Jeopardy, but these days she is more likely to be found wading through an African refugee camp or Asian brothel than on a film set. For most of the past decade Judd has been visiting human rights hotspots around the world to spread the word of hope, health, and gender equality on behalf of one of the leading public health nonprofits, PSI/YouthAIDS. Her work has put her in the company of world leaders in the battle against disease and poverty and in advocating programs to improve the lives of women and children.
Memories of her own painful childhood inspired Judd to reach out to those in desperate need, especially abused and abandoned girls. She writes movingly of friends such as Kausar, an AIDS sufferer in the slums of Mumbai who becomes an activist and peer-educator, and heroes such as Dr. Rene, who lends his heart and soul to keep the sex workers of Madagascar from contracting and spreading HIV.
Judd also describes her own personal spiritual journey of discovery that takes place during the interludes between her trips overseas. Through being of service to others, she unlocks the door to her own unsettled past, including an abusive childhood, and later on, her issues with co-dependency and depression. Through the act of bearing witness to others, Judd finds her own path to healing. Her recovery becomes integral to her ability to continue her humanitarian work. It reaffirms what her faith teaches her: “When I change myself I help change the whole world.”
“Ashley Judd has written a deeply moving story — amazingly, searingly, frank. It is her life story, warts and all. 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
“This lovely woman, this movie star, this determined dreamer will be familiar to you, assuming you have struggled to resolve your childhood, carve out a career and make greater use of yourself. Ashley Judd’s story reminds us to work harder and on more important tasks, and promises that if we do, contentedness awaits.” –Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place and Lift
“In sharing the secrets of a childhood fraught with neglect, abuse and debilitating depression, she confronts the stigma of mental illness and celebrates the serenity that comes with the hard work of recovery…. Judd’s search for justice and peace — for herself, and for the millions without a voice – is testament to the adage that when we help one person, we help the whole world.” –Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea