TueNight 10: Mary Pipher and Sara Pipher Gilliam

Mary (l.) and Sara (r.) 

It’s our first mother-daughter TueNight 10! This dynamic duo co-authored the 25th anniversary edition of Mary’s classic Reviving Ophelia, which spent three years on the New York Times bestseller list in the mid-1990s, including 28 weeks at #1.

Ages: Mary is 71, and Sara is 42.

Quick Bios: Mary is a therapist and clinical 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 ten books, including the bestselling The Shelter of Each OtherAnother Country, and most recently Women Rowing North. She lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sara is Editor-in-Chief of Exchange, a magazine for early childhood professionals. She is also Vice President and a founding board member of Carry the Future, an international refugee relief organization. She lives with her family in Hamilton, Ontario.

Beyond the Bios: “We had a very typical mother/daughter relationship in the early 90s—love and affection punctuated by a fair amount of conflict. We could always bond around our great loves: books and writing. When we realized the 25th anniversary of Reviving Ophelia was approaching, we decided that we wanted the book to remain relevant for a new generation of mothers and daughters. We’ve spent 18 months revising and updating the book and exploring the lives of adolescent girls through research, interviews and focus groups. Our conflicted relationship of years ago has smoothed into a surprisingly companionable collaboration. We recognize each others’ strengths as writers, and are enjoying riding the wave of a “new” release together.”

1. On the nightstandThere There by Tommy Orange and The Meaning of Names by Karen Shoemaker (Mary); Washington Black by Esi Edugyan and In Extremis: The Life and Death of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum (Sara).

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Overcommitting ourselves socially and professionally.

3. Jam of the minute: We are both madly in love with Jason Isbell. (Also, “Soulmate” by Lizzo!)

4. Thing we miss: Living five minutes apart. Sara spent most of her 20s overseas and in Washington, DC, but returned to Nebraska for 12 years, where she got married and had two sons who really adore their grandma. Just over a year ago, she moved to Canada (for obvious reasons, ahem, and also because her husband got a job in Ontario,) and we’ve had to re-adapt to a relationship defined by FaceTime calls and long holiday visits.

5. 80s crush: Lou Diamond Phillips and Patrick Swayze (Sara); Mary asks, “Who was even around in the 80s?”

6. Current crush: Kawhi Leonard (Sara); William Barber (Mary)

7. Will whine about: Old, white men running for president, global climate change, and the entire Trump clan.

8. Will wine about: Many of our most memorable conversations have unfolded over a bottle of Shiraz.

9. Best thing that happened recently: We successfully completed and launched a book together; some days it’s been all-consuming, but ultimately it’s been an affirming and fun process.

10. Looking forward to: Engaging in political activism and community organizing on behalf of causes we believe in—juvenile justice and prisoner rights, refugee resettlement and the environment. And many more Shiraz-fueled conversations…

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