Picture of author.
20+ Works 5,755 Members 60 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Mary Pipher is a therapist and clinical psychologist specializing in women, trauma, and the effects of culture on mental health. She has been called the "cultural therapist" for her generation. In addition to Reviving Ophelia, she is the author of several bestselling books, including Women Rowing show more North, Another Country, and The Shelter of Each Other. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sara Pipher Gilliam is a writer, editor, and global advocate for refugee families, as well as a former Fulbright Scholar and middle school English teacher. She is editor in chief of Exchange, an international magazine for early childhood professionals and educators. She lives with her family in Hamilton, Ontario. show less

Works by Mary Pipher

Associated Works

Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) — Introduction, some editions — 1,320 copies


adolescence (143) adolescents (21) aging (96) anthropology (312) children (29) culture (63) eating disorders (21) education (32) ethnography (48) family (99) family relationships (22) feminism (127) gender (65) gender studies (33) girls (139) health (38) memoir (37) NF (19) non-fiction (615) Oceania (19) own (39) parenting (176) psychology (452) read (45) refugees (44) Samoa (60) self-esteem (40) self-help (66) sexuality (37) social science (22) sociology (147) teenage girls (28) teenagers (19) teens (28) therapy (33) to-read (195) unread (26) women (116) women's studies (77) writing (89)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Pipher, Mary
Legal name
Pipher, Mary Elizabeth
Springfield, Missouri, USA
Places of residence
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
University of California, Berkeley (BA | 1969 - Cultural Anthropology)
University of Nebraska (PhD | 1977 - Clinical Psychology)
American Psychological Association
Short biography
Mary Pipher, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and author of The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families and Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders. Awarded the American Psychological Association's Presidential Citation, Pipher speaks across the country to families, mental health professionals, and educators, and has appeared on Today, 20/20, The Charlie Rose Show, PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and National Public Radio's Fresh Air.



Most of this book felt like filler.

The most helpful chapter was probably the one on letter writing, where she talks about what will persuade government leaders in policy making.

There is a chapter on speeches, with the emphasis on giving, rather than writing, them. If I wanted to learn about public speaking, I could have read a book on that subject, but I specifically read one on writing.

There is also a chapter on poetry and music, in which the author announces she's not going to tell readers how to write poetry. Instead, she spends many pages saying what could be summed up as "Poetry and music are important. If you are gifted for these, write poetry and music." She also quotes her favorite poems.

There were too many quotes in general, but I especially tired of the author's constant quoting of Thich Nhat Hanh.

There were a few good tips here, but nothing that isn't found in other books on writing.
… (more)
RachelRachelRachel | 6 other reviews | Nov 21, 2023 |
This book was a big disappointment to me, because it is very much a beginners guide to writing. I was hoping for something oriented towards social activists who are already writing, but who are hoping to refine, refresh and reevaluate their work and style within the framework of writing as activism. If you have yet to write your first letter to the editor, column, speech to read at a public meeting, etc. and feel uncertain about how to do that, then this is the book for you, otherwise, skip it.
lschiff | 6 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
nonfiction - a psychologist/writer of some reknown catalogs the experiences of older women, including internalized ageism, dealing with health issues while becoming a caretaker for elders and partners, grieving the loss of friend and loved ones, nurturing connections within a dwindling social group, keeping busy in retirement and finding purpose, etc. Might be marginally helpful in a "hey, you're not alone" way, but also potentially hurtful if not taken with grain of salt (e.g. ch. 9's "happiness is a choice" message does not consider serious mental health issues or addiction -- choice is important but sometimes external assistance can be absolutely necessary). I did think the part about setting boundaries on your time was helpful--making sure you have time for yourself before saying yes to additional obligations, and language you can use while you get used to saying 'no.' But mostly I found the content dull, with a writing style that sort of blathers on, but it might make an ok audiobook for an inattentive listener (like myself).

stopped reading p.238 of 398 (over halfway thru)
… (more)
reader1009 | 12 other reviews | Jul 24, 2023 |
A very gentle story of aging, coping with COVID and the total shutdown, finding yourself throughout various times in life and using light as a metaphor to return to joy. She is a charming writer. By reading a chapter each night, she provided me with a calming influence for sleep.
Elizabeth80 | May 3, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Percy Balemans Translator


Also by
½ 3.7

Charts & Graphs