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Women Rowing North
Cover of Women Rowing North
Women Rowing North
Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing As We Age
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New York Times Bestseller * USA Today Bestseller* Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Publishers Weekly Bestseller

A guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age by the author of Reviving Ophelia.

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be.
In Women Rowing North, Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. "If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully," Pipher writes, "we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent."
New York Times Bestseller * USA Today Bestseller* Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Publishers Weekly Bestseller

A guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age by the author of Reviving Ophelia.

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be.
In Women Rowing North, Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. "If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully," Pipher writes, "we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent."
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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 16, 2018
    Pipher (The Green Boat), best known for challenging the cultural perspective on teenage girls in 1994’s bestselling Reviving Ophelia, brings her professional skill as a cultural anthropologist and her personal experience as a woman transitioning from middle age to old age to a work chock-full of wisdom and consoling messages. Attentive to varying experiences of class, race, gender, health, and marital status, even as she considers the deep “challenges of aging, including ageism and lookism, caregiving, loss, and loneliness,” Pipher offers practical, specific advice. This includes walking readers through “deep breathing and centering exercises,” grandparenting “intentionally,” and dealing with end-of-life care. She pays particular attention to the importance of finding community, warning against the trap of becoming isolated, and rattling off a multitude of suggestions—readers could join a book group, “learn to kayak” (per the title), or “volunteer to teach English to refugees.” While a must-read for its target audience of women moving into old age, Pipher’s engaging book is an ought-to-read for their daughters and sons as well, as it sets forth the universal message that “happiness is a choice and a set of skills.” Agent: Susan Lee Cohen, Riverside Literary Agency.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from October 15, 2018

    Pipher entered the national psychological/literary stage with 1994's Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, which addressed how teen girls, deluged with images of beauty and sexuality and societal demands, fall into depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. Now, after several other books, the renowned psychologist turns to the subject of older women to help navigate the muddy and turbulent waters of aging. Her message is uplifting and calming: now is the time of authenticity, gratitude, and adapting--to anything. Pipher's skill of listening to clients and parsing meaning is evident in this volume filled with stories of women in the throes of change. She advises altering ways of thinking and behaving as we age, as we are no longer just older versions of our younger selves. But hers is not a one-solution-fits-all, as she urges readers to make a difference and take it easy, to know boundaries and offer wisdom, to understand what to accept and what demands our flexibility. VERDICT Pipher's tribute to older women everywhere--those skilled, knowledgable, and very wise--is simple: get involved, sit back, enjoy your life, be grateful, cherish every day. You've earned your happiness. [See "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 8/18.]--Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2018

    Pipher entered the national psychological/literary stage with 1994's Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, which addressed how teen girls, deluged with images of beauty and sexuality and societal demands, fall into depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. Now, after several other books, the renowned psychologist turns to the subject of older women to help navigate the muddy and turbulent waters of aging. Her message is uplifting and calming: now is the time of authenticity, gratitude, and adapting--to anything. Pipher's skill of listening to clients and parsing meaning is evident in this volume filled with stories of women in the throes of change. She advises altering ways of thinking and behaving as we age, as we are no longer just older versions of our younger selves. But hers is not a one-solution-fits-all, as she urges readers to make a difference and take it easy, to know boundaries and offer wisdom, to understand what to accept and what demands our flexibility. VERDICT Pipher's tribute to older women everywhere--those skilled, knowledgable, and very wise--is simple: get involved, sit back, enjoy your life, be grateful, cherish every day. You've earned your happiness. [See "Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 8/18.]--Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2018
    A distinguished clinical psychologist and bestselling author examines the personal and social issues that aging women face in modern American society.For women in transition between late-middle and old age, life becomes more difficult. Loss, especially through death, becomes the new norm as women see their bodies and minds devalued by society. To help women navigate these late-life "turns in the river," Pipher (The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in our Capsized Culture, 2013, etc.) offers practical wisdom based on interviews, research, and her own experiences as a therapist and aging woman. In the first section, the author highlights "the challenges of the journey," which she illustrates with real-life anecdotes. As Pipher writes, TV, "movies, fashion, and advertising rarely reflect the needs and circumstances of older women." Women who formerly felt attractive experience a "crisis of confidence," and many women find their bodies becoming more limited due to illness or age. In the second section, Pipher focuses on "travel skills" women need to manage this part of the journey. The ability to accommodate change is key, as is creating a community of individuals with whom to communicate and deflect the isolation that too often comes with age. Reframing "situations in positive ways, being thankful, and giving to others" are also skills that can help ease the journey forward. In the third section, the author emphasizes the importance of relationships. Female friendships, in particular, can bring comfort and pleasure, and for those whose marriages have survived into old age, partners and families can become safe havens. But the most important relationship an aging woman has will always be with herself. As Pipher notes in the final section, one of the greatest gifts of old age is the loss of "false selves" carried earlier in the journey and the emergence of a whole and authentic self. Eloquently compassionate and sure to appeal to late-life women, Pipher's book draws from a deep well of insight that is both refreshing and spiritually aware.Thoughtful, wise, and humane.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    December 15, 2018
    Pipher, author of the classic Reviving Ophelia (1994), an analysis of teenage girls in the 1990s, turns her attention to women transitioning from middle to old age in her latest project. These women, who have spent their lives juggling careers and families, are now facing different challenges, including surviving health crises, adapting to changing bodies, searching for meaning in retirement, and maintaining a sense of self. Pipher contends that unless women make the effort to grow, they will be left with bitterness. She begins by examining the issues of loss, loneliness, caregiving, and ageism. In the subsequent section, Pipher suggests skills that will help women navigate these troubles, from seeking to truly understand themselves to revising life narratives to focusing on gratitude. She urges readers to form meaningful relationships with family and friends and to fight isolation by intentionally interacting with others. Pipher shares examples from many lives, including her own, but focuses in particular on four women who illustrate these important life lessons. This positive, affirming book will inspire and guide women facing these challenges.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

  • New York Times "Inside the List" Both practical and inspiring.
  • Washington Post [Pipher's] 'quest for joy and happiness' is sincere, as is her commitment to helping other women achieve theirs. Some readers will treasure the book. All readers will admire her unadorned but wise summation that answered prayers are 'a surcease of worry.'
  • Woman's World A wisdom-filled guide . . . Pipher's mindful tips act as a map to joy and remind us that we can flourish through all of our years
  • Editors' Picks, Library Journal This is bound to become the bible of baby boomer women.
  • NPR, Best Books of the Year Women of all ages will find much to reflect on, and respond to, in this collection of lives lived and lost.
  • Considerable Think of Women Rowing North as a GPS for navigating your later years. And while Pipher, 71, says she wrote it specifically for women crossing from middle age to old age, there is much in the book that is useful for any of us.
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly A work chock-full of wisdom and consoling messages . . . While a must-read for its target audience of women moving into old age, Pipher's engaging book is an ought-to-read for their daughters and sons as well, as it sets forth the universal message that 'happiness is a choice and a set of skills.'
  • Starred Review, Library Journal Uplifting and calming . . . Pipher's skill of listening to clients and parsing meaning is evident in this volume filled with stories of women in the throes of change.
  • AARP, The Season's Big Books An encouraging, comforting and very welcome message about the strength and joy that can come with age.
  • Wall Street Journal Explores the stereotypes and challenges of getting older and the survival skills women need to be happy.
  • Julia Alvarez, author of HOW THE GARCIA GIRLS LOST THEIR ACCENTS and ONCE UPON A QUINCEANERA: COMING OF AGE IN THE USA Thoughtful, wise, and profoundly transformative, Women Rowing North tells the stories that make us feel accompanied and hopeful as well as providing models and muses for all the challenges and joys of this later stage of life. Pipher inspires us to take on this most important role, one that is most needed in these challenging times of division and rancor: that of wise elders joining together and welcoming all into the beloved community she has labored to create. This is truly a one-of-a-kind book, one that I've been waiting for.
  • Barbara Graham, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of EYE OF MY HEART In Women Rowing North Mary Pipher offers an illuminating, much-needed template for moving through advancing years with gratitude and grace—not through denial or rejection of what's broken and lost but by opening our hearts fully to everything our life delivers. This is a book to treasure, to keep by the bedside to remind us that, contrary to shopworn stereotypes, joy and wonder don't have a time-stamp.
  • Jane Isay, author of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: A GUIDE TO NAVIGATING THE JOYS AND CHALLENGES OF BEING A GRANDPARENT TODAY If I needed one book to guide me through the perils to the delights of aging, it is Mary Pipher's Women Rowing North. It sets the direction, shows the dangers, and brings the reader safely through to joy. I feel gratitude, not only for life, but for this wonderful book.
  • Meg Cox, author of THE BOOK OF NEW FAMILY TRADITIONS Simultaneously honest and calming, Women Rowing North is like an extended therapy session for millions of women who are strong and resourceful, but need to be reminded of that. This book examines head-on the losses and crises we all fear, cohering into a profound and comforting guide to living deftly and deeply well into old age.
  • Joanna Macy, author of COMING BACK TO LIFE: UPDATED GUIDE TO THE WORK THAT RECONNECTS I love this book. Don't stop with a once-through reading. I myself keep it at hand to dip into for a quick shot of Mary Pipher's matter-of-fact wisdom, humor, and instinct for the essential. It never fails.
  • San Francisco Chronicle on THE SHELTER OF EACH OTHER Eye-opening . . . heart-wrenching and uplifting.
  • Los Angeles Times on REVIVING OPHELIA An important book . . . Pipher shines high-beam headlights on the worl
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Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing As We Age
Mary Pipher
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