A Life in Light
In her luminous new memoir, Mary Pipher taps into a cultural moment to offer wisdom, hope, and insight into loss and change. Drawing from her expertise as a psychologist specializing in women, trauma, and the effect of culture on our mental health, she looks at her own story in A Life in Light.
Her plainspoken depictions of her hard childhood and life’s difficulties are dappled with moments of joy and revelation and tragedies and ordinary miseries. As a child, she was separated from her parents for long periods. Those separations affected her deeply, but in A Life in Light she explores what she’s learned about how to balance despair with joy. Pipher shares with readers every coping skill she has honed during her lifetime. She reminds us that there is a silver thread of resilience that flows through all of life. In this book, she points us toward that light.
Mary Pipher graduated in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Clinical Psychology in 1977. She was a Rockefeller Scholar in Residence at Bellagio and has received two American Psychological Association Presidential Citations, one of which she returned to protest psychologists’ involvement in enhanced interrogations at Guantánamo and other black sites.
Mary was born in the Ozarks and grew up in rural Nebraska. As a girl she liked reading, writing, swimming, being outdoors and talking to her friends and family. She still enjoys these activities. She is also a community organizer and activist for many causes. She lives in Nebraska with her husband Jim.
Pipher is the author of 10 books including her number one New York Times bestseller Reviving Ophelia; and her most recent, Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age.