Women Rowing North

WOMEN ROWING NORTH

Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age

Mary Pipher

From Mary Pipher, the New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, Women Rowing North is a guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age.

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.

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From Mary Pipher, the New York Times bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, Women Rowing North is a guide to wisdom, authenticity, and bliss for women as they age.

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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  • Bloomsbury
  • Hardcover
  • January 2019
  • 272 Pages
  • 9781632869609

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$30.00

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About Mary Pipher

Mary PipherMary Pipher is a psychologist specializing in women, trauma, and the effects of our culture on mental health, which has earned her the title of “cultural therapist” for her generation. She is the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including Reviving Ophelia, The Shelter of Each Other, and Another Country. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Author Website

Praise

“Thoughtful, wise, and profoundly transformative … This is truly a one-of-a-kind book, one that I’ve been waiting for.”Julia Alvarez, author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and Once Upon A Quinceanera: Coming Of Age In The USA

“Serious and thoughtful material presented with the fluidity of good fiction.”Kirkus Reviews on Reviving Ophelia

Discussion Questions

1. This book explores the reality of a specific stage of women’s lives as opposed the dominant cultural stories about us. Pipher writes: “What women mean when they say, ‘I am not old,’ is, ‘I won’t accept the ideas that the culture has about me.’” (27) How do Pipher’s stories about women she’s met differ from the cultural stereotypes you’ve encountered?

2. Pipher, known for her New York Times bestseller Reviving Ophelia about the experience of teenage girls, exhibits her compassion while addressing the unique issues of her own age group. “When I told my adolescent granddaughter Kate about this book, I stressed that every life stage is hard. Looking back across my life decade by decade, I cannot find one that is without anguish.” (18) Do you share a compassion with younger generations, or do you feel that some stages of life are more difficult than others?

3. Pipher explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face, both internal and interpersonal. What resilient foundations have you built in your life, and what would you like to build?

4. Pipher distinguishes between having a “happy” life and having a “meaningful” life, quoting Emily Esfahani-Smith: “Happiness seekers are unhappy when they don’t get what they want. Meaning seekers can survive negative events.” (63) How do you think people can center their lives on finding meaning rather than happiness?

5. Pipher writes about forming your own narrative about your life: “Even our most painful experiences can be revisited. We can ask, ‘How did that make me stronger?’ ‘What did I learn from that experience?’ ‘What am I proud of when I look back on that day?’” (149) Much of this book is about reclaiming the collective narrative about aging. How is Pipher reframing that understanding? What are other questions people can ask to reassess their own stories?