The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Book Jacket

A Life in Light
Meditations on Impermanence
by Mary Pipher
28 Jun 2022
320 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Essays
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From the bestselling author of Women Rowing North and Reviving Ophelia - a memoir in essays reflecting on radiance, resilience, and the constantly changing nature of reality.

In her luminous new memoir in essays, Mary Pipher-as she did in her New York Times bestseller Women Rowing North-taps into a cultural moment, to offer wisdom, hope, and insight into loss and change. Drawing from her own experiences and expertise as a psychologist specializing in women, trauma, and the effect of our culture on our mental health, she looks inward in A Life in Light to what shaped her as a woman, one who has experienced darkness throughout her life but was always drawn to the light.

Her plainspoken depictions of her hard childhood and life's difficulties are dappled with moments of joy and revelation, tragedies and ordinary miseries, glimmers and shadow. 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, utilizing and sharing with readers every coping skill she has honed during her lifetime to remind us that there is a silver thread of resilience that flows through all of life, and that despite our despair, the light will return.

In this book, she points us toward that light.

"'Resilience is the ability to find light in dark times,' writes psychologist Pipher in these radiant essays about how joy and loss often coexist...Those struggling to overcome darkness will find a guiding light in this incandescent work." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"For psychologist Pipher, the light found in nature, caring relationships, work, and books has always been the key to happiness. In this beautifully written memoir, her memories of childhood in Nebraska are vivid and poignant...This lovely book teaches gentle lessons on gratitude and celebrating life." - Booklist (starred review)

"Psychologist Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Women Rowing North, reflects on aging, loneliness, and happiness in a serene, gently told memoir...Sensitive meditations from a 'solar-powered' writer." - Kirkus Reviews

"A beautifully written, quiet, contemplative memoir that many will enjoy." - Library Journal

"In her incandescent new book, Mary Pipher shines a light on what really matters, and in doing so, she reflects our lives back at us with exquisite awareness. I was deeply moved by every page, laughing, crying, always reflecting on her words long after. She has given us all essential lessons on how to balance despair with a sense of wonder and inspires us to lead more light-filled lives." - Lori Gottlieb, New York Times-bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

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, Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing As We Age, and A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence.

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