A world-renowned author, journalist, and popular lecturer, Gail Sheehy has changed the way millions of women and men around the world look at the stages of their lives. In her 50 years as a writer she has interviewed thousands of women and men and written 17 books. Her earliest revolutionary book, Passages, was named by a Library of Congress survey one of the ten most influential books of our times. Passages remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for more than three years and has been reprinted in 28 languages. In five other books on the passages theme she revisits the stages of adult life and illuminates our predictable crises: Understanding Men’s Passages, The Silent Passage (menopause); Sex and the Seasoned Women, and Passages in Caregiving.
As a literary journalist, Sheehy was one of the original contributors to New York magazine and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984. She has covered national and world leaders and broken many cultural taboos. She culminated a decade of following Hillary Clinton for Vanity Fair with the biography, Hillary’s Choice, exploring the personal ambitions and vulnerabilities that drive the world’s most public woman. She has written about the character and psychology of national and national leaders from Robert Kennedy to both Presidents Bush to Barack Obama, and world leaders from Margaret Thatcher to Egypt’s Anwar Sadat to Saddam Hussein. She is a seven-time recipient of the New York Newswomen’s Club Front Page Award for distinguished journalism and three-time winner or finalist for National Magazine Awards. In 2013, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Books for a Better Life.
Here is what New York Times book reviewer and Princeton professor Elaine Showalter wrote about the impact of Sheehy’s books:
“In 1976, in her best seller Passages, the journalist Gail Sheehy invented a new way of thinking about the phases of adult life…[as] ‘a series of developmental stages and tasks, critical turning points along the life cycle when one’s opportunity for growth is also heightened‘ […] Women embraced Sheehy’s thinking and incorporated it into their expectations….” The New York Times June 7, 1998
Passing 70, Sheehy decided it was about time she turned the lens on herself. She wrote a memoir about her own passages. The book is DARING: My Passages. Published William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It inspires young women to dream big, take risks, outlive early failures, and build toward success with meaning and social purpose by midlife.
Reviews of DARING: My Passages
“Daring is an inspiring portrait of a resilient woman who fought hard to live an authentic life, and won.”
“Ardent, approachable, forthright, and empathetic, Sheehy’s memoir of a life lived in the center of her time’s most defining moments beside its most influential characters is a riveting account of one woman’s exhilarating trajectory, a page-turning, powerhouse testament to resilience, perseverance, and hope.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Gail Sheehy dares to examine her own passages with the same insight, fearlessness, and compassion she brought to her groundbreaking journalism. Through adversities and triumphs alike, she demonstrates the grit and courage it takes to outlast life’s challenges.”
—Arianna Huffington, author and former president of Huffington Post