Mary Pipher

This week Brooke and Grant are challenging all kinds of assumptions—starting with unpacking books we’ve read that have challenged our own assumptions, and then with this week’s guest, Mary Pipher. Pipher, the best-selling author of Reviving Ophelia and Women Rowing North, gives us her take on ageism, “moral imagination,” and how and why she writes “for the reader, for the world.”


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 has worked most of her life as a therapist and she has taught at the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan University. She is the author of ten books including Reviving Ophelia and her latest Women Rowing North. Four of her books have been New York Times best sellers. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times.


In Mary’s book, Writing to Change the World, she suggests that a writer try crafting a story from the point of view of someone they don’t respect or like, to get inside the head of the opposition.

“The truth is,” she writes “most preaching is to the choir. Choirs produce almost all the important social action in our world. The people most likely to read us are people who think as we do. And readers generally seek reinforcement of their beliefs, not arguments or challenges.”

So give this a try—fully step into the POV of your opposition. See what happens, and what it feels like to live there. Allow it to challenge your assumptions in all its uncomfortableness and see what that might lead to.

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