Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life

About the Book

Gail Sheehy, an author whose investigative reporting has won numerous prizes, set herself three objectives in writing this pioneering book: to locate the personality changes common to each stage of life; to compare the developmental rhythms of men and women – which she found strikingly unsynchronized; and, in light of this, to examine the crises that couples can anticipate. Which passages cause one partner to put an extra strain on the other? How do their needs and dreams change with age?

Drawing on three years of painstaking research and 115 in-depth interviews, Gail Sheehy goes beyond the academicians to reveal both the internal and external forces acting on all of us. This humane, widescreen view of adulthood speaks eloquently to men and women, to couples and singles, to “wunderkinds” and late bloomers, to careerists and homemakers. It is the only book that brings together a coherent vision of the passages we must all take through the Twenties, Thirties, and Forties toward what is potentially the best of life.

Passages, first published in 1976, is a revolutionary book that changed the way millions of women and men around the world look at the stages of their lives. The book remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for more than three years and has been reprinted in 28 languages. A Library of Congress survey named Passages one of the ten most influential books of our times.