Lincoln author Mary Pipher writes memoir of life and brilliance | Books

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Mary Pipher didn’t think she would write another book.

After 10 posts — including the New York Times #1 bestseller “Reviving Ophelia” — she wasn’t sure she had anything else to say. She was ready to end in style with “Women Rowing North”. It was in 2019.

But 2020 has arrived and Pipher has lost the little rays of sunshine she had grown accustomed to: celebrating holidays with family, hugging friends, and dancing at concerts. His world darkened. She found herself dealing with her struggles through wandering rays of sunshine, much like she did as a young girl starving in a dark trailer while yearning for her mother.

Pipher remembered the importance of seeking the light and sticking to it.

Her latest book, “A Life in the Light,” is about Pipher’s pursuit of those flashes of joy, beginning as a child in a struggling family and leading into her post-pandemic days.

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“I am fascinated by all types of light – sunrise and sunset, shimmering light in fountains, light in the sky, and light from celestial bodies,” Pipher writes. A prism anywhere makes my heart sing.

Luminosity is many things for the psychologist and the former therapist. Weekends by the lake, long discussions between girlfriends and reading classics that turn the pages. It’s pool days and Midwestern sunsets. Most importantly, light symbolizes resilience; happiness after a storm.

Pipher’s story is for anyone looking for coping mechanisms to get through life’s toughest times and ground them in luminance. As she writes her way through her own linear timeline, she highlights the lessons she’s gleaned along the way. She introduces readers to the people who “loved her into existence.”

She said her life was very much like other people’s. Few are happy most of the time throughout their lives, and some are never able to escape misery. But most, she said, are in the “mushy middle,” experiencing waves of joy and pain. Pipher said she was there with them, hovering between the two.

She thinks the world could benefit from her stories as it goes through a period of darkness with disease, social isolation and war.

“If there’s anything in the book that helps people find the light in their own hearts and in their own lives, that can be helpful,” she said. “That’s my fervent hope for the book.”






The cover of Mary Pipher’s latest book.


The bestselling author spends several chapters reliving her tumultuous past, from the year away from her mother to being raised by a heavy-drinking father. She recalls her time as a single mother, trying to complete her doctorate. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and make a better life for themselves. Even still, she experienced happiness scattered in all the mess.

One of her deepest forms of joy was spending time with real friends, something she still relishes today.

Pipher’s greatest bit of wisdom for young girls today is to do what she did as a teenager – find a group of women who will walk through life’s struggles with you.

“Women tend to do a lot of caregiving all their lives; they are ready to be guardians,” she said. “So when I’m with my friends, I try to take care of them, but it’s very mutual. They take care of me too. It’s just a wonderful thing to have female friends.

The book, which comes out on Sunday, reads like advice to an old friend told through experience. She hopes her book will help and heal, much like therapy.

“There are a lot of things that we don’t really talk about anymore because it makes us all so anxious and sad. But they don’t go away,” she said. “You really have to be skilled to build days that bring you joy and light that make you happy so you can deal with darker emotions.”

Pipher has had a lot to celebrate in its 74 years. Her adult children, her grandchildren, her husband and her cat Chessie shone in her life, as did her lifelong friends.

She shares the joy and challenges of becoming an acclaimed author who has spent years lecturing across the country, sharing anthropological wisdom with others as her stories topped book lists.

She gives colorful snippets of watching her children pick up leaves and catch fireflies.

But the brightest embers come from “blowing on the coals of her own heart,” she said.

Pipher wrote his work in the dark – one of the darkest periods of the century. The book, she hoped, would be bright, perhaps so bright that it would shine on others. In one of her closing statements, she wrote:

“Beauty is all around us, limitless and timeless. All we have to do is look to the light and we will know.

Contact the writer at 402-473-7241 or [email protected]

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