The Story of Spice Lady: A Novel with Recipes
Zahara Heckscher, the author of Spice Lady, is a writer and social entrepreneur, a cancer survivor who prefers to be called a Cancer Thriver.
Before cancer, she had a successful career as a nonprofit manager and advocate for social justice. After cancer, she quit her job, maintaining her passion for social justice but seeking other ways to pursue her dreams.
Three months after her treatment for breast cancer, while waiting for divine guidance on what to do with the rest of her life, Zahara surprised herself by accidentally starting to write a story, and the story became the book, Spice Lady: A Novel With Recipes.
In the book, Angela Ruth Applebaum, a Jewish mom, super taster, and breast cancer survivor, quits her soul-crushing job and embarks on a quest to become Spice Lady and share her passion for spice and talent for cooking with the world.
With a giant dose of chutzpah (that comes in part from facing cancer), Zahara asked some of her culinary heroes to donate recipes. Francis Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, Anna Lappe, Bryant Terry of the Vegan Soul Kitchen, and Lynne Rossetto Kasper of The Splendid Table. They all said yes! All the recipes in Spice Lady are healthy and plant-based.
Zahara wrote the book for other cancer thrivers, entrepreneurs and small business owners, urban moms, greenies, foodies, spiritual seekers and anyone else who likes a good read. The book addresses serious topics with a light touch. The manuscript is complete and Zahara is pursuing publishing options.
Zahara is also a mom and a lecturer at the University of Maryland, where she invented and co-teaches the class Writing for Social Entrepreneurs. She is the co-author of How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas, and working on a new book about Rethinking International Volunteering (learningservice.info). She writes for Transitions Abroad Magazine. She blogs at Cancer Thriver, offers workshops through MelibeeU, and teaches at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda.