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The author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir—a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the The author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir—a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the unconventional life of a writer who dared . . . to walk New York City streets with hookers and pimps to expose violent prostitution; to march with civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland as British paratroopers opened fire; to seek out Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat when he was targeted for death after making peace with Israel. Always on the cutting edge of social issues, Sheehy reveals the obstacles and opportunities encountered when she dared to blaze a trail in a “man’s world.” Daring is also a beguiling love story of Sheehy’s tempestuous romance with and eventual happy marriage to Clay Felker, the charismatic creator of New York magazine. As well, Sheehy recounts her audacious pursuit and intimate portraits of many 20th century leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush, and the world-altering attraction between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. Sheehy reflects on desire, ambition, and wanting it all—career, love, children, friends, social significance—and lays bare her major life passages: false starts and surprise successes, the shock of failures and inner crises; betrayal in a first marriage; life as a single mother; flings of an ardent, liberated young woman; her adoption of a second daughter from a refugee camp; marriage to the love of her life and their ensuing years of happiness, even in the shadow of illness. Now stronger than ever, Sheehy speaks from hard-won experience to today’s young women. Her fascinating, no-holds-barred story is a testament to guts, resilience, smarts, and daring, and offers a bold perspective on all of life’s passages.


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The author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir—a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the The author of the classic New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir—a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the unconventional life of a writer who dared . . . to walk New York City streets with hookers and pimps to expose violent prostitution; to march with civil rights protesters in Northern Ireland as British paratroopers opened fire; to seek out Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat when he was targeted for death after making peace with Israel. Always on the cutting edge of social issues, Sheehy reveals the obstacles and opportunities encountered when she dared to blaze a trail in a “man’s world.” Daring is also a beguiling love story of Sheehy’s tempestuous romance with and eventual happy marriage to Clay Felker, the charismatic creator of New York magazine. As well, Sheehy recounts her audacious pursuit and intimate portraits of many 20th century leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush, and the world-altering attraction between Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. Sheehy reflects on desire, ambition, and wanting it all—career, love, children, friends, social significance—and lays bare her major life passages: false starts and surprise successes, the shock of failures and inner crises; betrayal in a first marriage; life as a single mother; flings of an ardent, liberated young woman; her adoption of a second daughter from a refugee camp; marriage to the love of her life and their ensuing years of happiness, even in the shadow of illness. Now stronger than ever, Sheehy speaks from hard-won experience to today’s young women. Her fascinating, no-holds-barred story is a testament to guts, resilience, smarts, and daring, and offers a bold perspective on all of life’s passages.

30 review for Daring: My Passages

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beth P

    If you are a woman who grew up during the 70s & 80s, this book will speak to you. I read Passages many moons ago when I was in college and was captivated. But to read about Gail Sheehy's own passages as a single mother/working professional in the early 70s puts the amazing cultural changes we've experienced in four decades into extraordinary perspective. The stories about the big personalities are fascinating - Gloria Steinem, Katherine Graham, Tom Wolfe, Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Gary Hart - If you are a woman who grew up during the 70s & 80s, this book will speak to you. I read Passages many moons ago when I was in college and was captivated. But to read about Gail Sheehy's own passages as a single mother/working professional in the early 70s puts the amazing cultural changes we've experienced in four decades into extraordinary perspective. The stories about the big personalities are fascinating - Gloria Steinem, Katherine Graham, Tom Wolfe, Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, Gary Hart - it was fascinating to take a look back at the personalities who shaped history that I remember hearing about, but was too young to really pay attention to in any meaningful way. I've often thought about how my mom who was born in 1942 was part of the transition generation - a generation of women with a split personality of sorts because the rules changed for them midstream. Raised with a foundation of old school beliefs about women's roles, she was also aspirational and very inspired by the women's movement and went back to school as an adult and received her college degree when I was in 7th or 8th grade. This book was a fun, insightful, compelling read about one woman's life that reminded me of all the things I take for granted as an adult woman in 2014.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shonna Froebel

    This memoir takes us from Gail's childhood through to the present. She talks about her family: her troubled relationship with her father, her mother's battle with ambition versus expectations, her sister's struggle with addiction, her marriage and divorce, her off and on relationship with Clay Felker, and her daughters. She shows us how her career developed, who helped her along the way, and why she covered the controversial subjects she did. Clay started out as a mentor, became a lover, was distan This memoir takes us from Gail's childhood through to the present. She talks about her family: her troubled relationship with her father, her mother's battle with ambition versus expectations, her sister's struggle with addiction, her marriage and divorce, her off and on relationship with Clay Felker, and her daughters. She shows us how her career developed, who helped her along the way, and why she covered the controversial subjects she did. Clay started out as a mentor, became a lover, was distanced as she took her career in a new direction, and reentered her life as a true husband and partner. Sheehy is candid about her ambition, the risks she took, the passions that drove her, and the rewards that came with her success. She was one of the first journalists to embed herself in stories from conflicts to cultures, the first to write indepth character portraits of world leaders, and one of the first women to really make it in the male world of journalism. Her reflections are open, showing us both the highs and the lows, the successes and the failures, the joy and the sorrow. This is an amazing read about the life of an amazing woman.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alise Napp

    Read my full thoughts over at Read.Write.Repeat. Before reading this book, I had never heard of Gail Sheehy or even her best-selling book Passages. Now that I've read her memoir and know more about her life and advances in journalism, I'm more than a little ashamed that I had no knowledge of this pioneer woman. Once again, I feel properly schooled in an area of recent history I knew very little about. Those decades surrounding my birth seem, at times, like dark holes of ignorance in my life. Only Read my full thoughts over at Read.Write.Repeat. Before reading this book, I had never heard of Gail Sheehy or even her best-selling book Passages. Now that I've read her memoir and know more about her life and advances in journalism, I'm more than a little ashamed that I had no knowledge of this pioneer woman. Once again, I feel properly schooled in an area of recent history I knew very little about. Those decades surrounding my birth seem, at times, like dark holes of ignorance in my life. Only now are people such as Sheehy really looking back at those years and writing comprehensive memoirs. In this case, I'm grateful I was given a chance to look into Sheehy's life and, now, speak intelligently about her experiences and advances, specifically for American women.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dottie Resnick

    I was disappointed in this book, mostly because it seemed to lack insight, included way more 'name-dropping' than necessary and really seemed to lack substance. Toward the last quarter of the book Gail Sheehy began telling more about how she developed her stories or articles about many famous people such as Gary Hart, Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. Yes she previously discussed her writing of "Passages" and other books, but not nearly in such detail. Although a memoir by definition shoul I was disappointed in this book, mostly because it seemed to lack insight, included way more 'name-dropping' than necessary and really seemed to lack substance. Toward the last quarter of the book Gail Sheehy began telling more about how she developed her stories or articles about many famous people such as Gary Hart, Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. Yes she previously discussed her writing of "Passages" and other books, but not nearly in such detail. Although a memoir by definition should be about the person writing it, I was disappointed that there was not more introspection by the author.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    While Gail Sheehy is really someone to be admired for everything she has accomplished - writing, world traveler, lifestyle of the rich and famous.. this book had all the symptoms of a notorious namedropper - especially when her husband's magazine was getting bought out ..I didn't need to know the name of every person involved..books like this always have me questioning how the author remembers the details of every party, newsroom and discussion they ever had... It was a long book that took a lon While Gail Sheehy is really someone to be admired for everything she has accomplished - writing, world traveler, lifestyle of the rich and famous.. this book had all the symptoms of a notorious namedropper - especially when her husband's magazine was getting bought out ..I didn't need to know the name of every person involved..books like this always have me questioning how the author remembers the details of every party, newsroom and discussion they ever had... It was a long book that took a long time to read... I really enjoyed hearing her speak at our author luncheon but can't say I could recommend this one to anyone...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Juliana

    Interesting memoir by bestselling author Gail Sheehy author of a great number of bestselling books and culture-defining articles. A bonus for publishing historians is the inside look at the height of new journalism and the age of the magazine through her relationship with Clay Felker. I read this book for the second time to update and expand the terrible Wikipedia article on Sheehy. She is important and deserved better coverage. I hope I've fixed that now. Interesting memoir by bestselling author Gail Sheehy author of a great number of bestselling books and culture-defining articles. A bonus for publishing historians is the inside look at the height of new journalism and the age of the magazine through her relationship with Clay Felker. I read this book for the second time to update and expand the terrible Wikipedia article on Sheehy. She is important and deserved better coverage. I hope I've fixed that now.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    This book is a great addendum to her Passages books. Brutally honest, she covers her life in a daring way. In parts, she writes about her husband and his work with magazine publishing and I found myself wishing she would reveal more of her view on what was happening rather than his take on the story. That's a fairly minor quibble, though. Definitely worth the time it took to read. This book is a great addendum to her Passages books. Brutally honest, she covers her life in a daring way. In parts, she writes about her husband and his work with magazine publishing and I found myself wishing she would reveal more of her view on what was happening rather than his take on the story. That's a fairly minor quibble, though. Definitely worth the time it took to read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    After reading Passages, my curiosity was piqued. Sheehy demonstrated such insight in Passages I became interested in author and woman. If you haven’t read this book I highly suggest you do, unbelievable read. Her perspective and voice command your attention. Sheehy’s memoir is one enthralling read, I was quickly absorbed in her life story, quite an exciting ride for both authoress and reader. Sheehy takes you through numerous decades professionally and personally. We visit the pre-feminist era, ci After reading Passages, my curiosity was piqued. Sheehy demonstrated such insight in Passages I became interested in author and woman. If you haven’t read this book I highly suggest you do, unbelievable read. Her perspective and voice command your attention. Sheehy’s memoir is one enthralling read, I was quickly absorbed in her life story, quite an exciting ride for both authoress and reader. Sheehy takes you through numerous decades professionally and personally. We visit the pre-feminist era, civil rights movement to current times. A history lesson through the lens of a groundbreaking, fearless woman and esteemed journalist. She was an early pioneer in breaking the glass ceiling for women, specifically women journalists. Sheehy possesses courage and takes serious risks, her career is proof. This woman continually challenges herself, downright exposing herself. A few situations requiring her undeniable moxie – she dressed up in hot pants and walked the streets with prostitutes; was caught in serious cross fire in the Irish civil war; interviewed several dignitaries and high level persons of interest: Bobby Kennedy, Anwar Sadat, Margaret Thatcher, the list continues which in itself is impressive. Sheehy doesn’t limit her story to her stellar career, she also opens up regarding her personal life and her struggles most women face. The heartbreaking betrayal and demise of her first marriage, the complications arising from the fine art of balancing a demanding career with the demands of motherhood, we celebrate her discovery of her mentor and the love of her life Clay Felker, her experience in the adoption of a young refugee Cambodian girl. In all intents and purposes Sheehy opens the door to her life and once again presents herself in a fearless and exposed manner. It’s a fair assumption I will never have lunch we Sheehy, we won’t spend hours compairing lives or gal paling around, however her memoir allows me to learn and become inspired by her fearlessness, wisdom and strength. I lived vicariously through this remarkable woman, what a time it was! Highly recommend this fascinating story, a woman brutally honest in all facets of her life and career. Library of Congress named Sheehy’s bestseller Passages as one of the ten most influential books of our time, a multiple award winning journalist, it’s a wonder her memoir is captivating, she is simply remarkable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    I have been slogging through and mired in this book for months. Reading it was like walking through a swamp with a 50lb. pack on while an annoying friend jabbers away about nothing and complains about the heat in between. This book was, like the author herself, flighty and shallow. Princess of pop psychology, Sheehy, never goes below the surface of her life or events. There was little depth to this book. She announces she became an alcoholic, she tells of allowing herself to be psychologically a I have been slogging through and mired in this book for months. Reading it was like walking through a swamp with a 50lb. pack on while an annoying friend jabbers away about nothing and complains about the heat in between. This book was, like the author herself, flighty and shallow. Princess of pop psychology, Sheehy, never goes below the surface of her life or events. There was little depth to this book. She announces she became an alcoholic, she tells of allowing herself to be psychologically abused for years by Clay Felcher but defines this abuse as true love, of having an affair while her husband is terminally ill, all with no depth or self awareness. For all of her success as a journalist and writer, her life is defined by a man, Clay Felcher, and not just because he was her editor and mentor but because his love defined her as a person. Not a good read. Actually, a waste of time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I just can't warm up to Gail Sheehy. Sorry, Ms Sheehy, but sometimes you seem shallow and egotistical. I fast-forwarded through her descriptions of the Byzantine machinations of the publishing world. Her relationship and subsequent marriage to publisher Clay Felker became interesting about half way through the book. That story finally made Sheehy seem human. Felker was the most fully-drawn charcter in this memoir...even moreso than Sheehy herself. Her daughters got a strange, abbreviated treatme I just can't warm up to Gail Sheehy. Sorry, Ms Sheehy, but sometimes you seem shallow and egotistical. I fast-forwarded through her descriptions of the Byzantine machinations of the publishing world. Her relationship and subsequent marriage to publisher Clay Felker became interesting about half way through the book. That story finally made Sheehy seem human. Felker was the most fully-drawn charcter in this memoir...even moreso than Sheehy herself. Her daughters got a strange, abbreviated treatment, just popping up occasionally moving at lightspeed from children to married adults, without any explanation in between. Just grew like Topsy, I guess. Sheehy became a more sympathetic character herself as she struggled with Felker's illness and her own alcoholism.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Freeman

    Gail Sheehy's break-through book about adult life, Passages, was published as I was becoming an adult. I remember it being the talk of the adult world at the time. Her book, Passages of Care-Giving, has been very helpful to friends caring for family members. Until reading this ARC of her memoir, I didn't realize how prolific she has been. This is the memoir of an ambitious woman whose career flourished alongside the women's movement. As I was reading, I kept thinking that there was a lot of name Gail Sheehy's break-through book about adult life, Passages, was published as I was becoming an adult. I remember it being the talk of the adult world at the time. Her book, Passages of Care-Giving, has been very helpful to friends caring for family members. Until reading this ARC of her memoir, I didn't realize how prolific she has been. This is the memoir of an ambitious woman whose career flourished alongside the women's movement. As I was reading, I kept thinking that there was a lot of name-dropping in the book. On the other hand, her life has been spent among names. If you 'grew up' with Gail Sheehy, you'll enjoy this memoir of a full life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Disappointing. Needed a good editor to pare it down. Needed a fact checker. Kept saying Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister during Bloody Sunday. Not very forthcoming for a memoir and then somewhere near the end, tells the reader she was an alcoholic all along?!? Better as a hagiography of her late-husband Clay Felker and the birth of New York Magazine and the New Journalism. Too bad. Was a fan of hers and was lucky enough to once meet her....though not a big fan of pop psycho/sociology a la Pa Disappointing. Needed a good editor to pare it down. Needed a fact checker. Kept saying Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister during Bloody Sunday. Not very forthcoming for a memoir and then somewhere near the end, tells the reader she was an alcoholic all along?!? Better as a hagiography of her late-husband Clay Felker and the birth of New York Magazine and the New Journalism. Too bad. Was a fan of hers and was lucky enough to once meet her....though not a big fan of pop psycho/sociology a la Passages but I've always loved her magazine writing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Celia Crotteau

    Gail Sheehy writes with skillful grace about her own life journey from ambitious young journalist to wise, mellow sage. Although I enjoyed hearing about her participation in some of the twentieth century's most significant historical events, her account of her relationships with loved ones most moved me. Ms. Sheehy does not come across as humble, and at times she overdoes pointing out her own career and personal successes. Still, she also candidly discusses her failures and faults, so I guess a Gail Sheehy writes with skillful grace about her own life journey from ambitious young journalist to wise, mellow sage. Although I enjoyed hearing about her participation in some of the twentieth century's most significant historical events, her account of her relationships with loved ones most moved me. Ms. Sheehy does not come across as humble, and at times she overdoes pointing out her own career and personal successes. Still, she also candidly discusses her failures and faults, so I guess a few atta girls are to be tolerated.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie

    Given To Me For An Honest Review Gail Sheehy's book Daring: My Passages: A Memoir is an interesting read. I remember reading Passages and that was phenomenal and beyond a bestseller. This one was interesting as it gave new insight on well known historical and popular persons and events. She shares with the reader her life from childhood through her adulthood. It is interesting and readable. I enjoyed reading it. I recommend it to all. Given To Me For An Honest Review Gail Sheehy's book Daring: My Passages: A Memoir is an interesting read. I remember reading Passages and that was phenomenal and beyond a bestseller. This one was interesting as it gave new insight on well known historical and popular persons and events. She shares with the reader her life from childhood through her adulthood. It is interesting and readable. I enjoyed reading it. I recommend it to all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Judy Gacek

    The book has some faults. It could be more reflective. That being said I enjoyed the book very much. It does a good job of telling what it was like to be a single mom and work in a man's world. I especially enjoyed the stories about Clay Felker and the many writers he nurtured.. If '"Passages" was one of those books that influenced you then you will enjoy knowing the author's story. The book has some faults. It could be more reflective. That being said I enjoyed the book very much. It does a good job of telling what it was like to be a single mom and work in a man's world. I especially enjoyed the stories about Clay Felker and the many writers he nurtured.. If '"Passages" was one of those books that influenced you then you will enjoy knowing the author's story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carol Miletti

    If you are a woman of a certain age, you have grown up reading Gail Sheehy in books and magazines. This is her story. It covers a lot of ground, refreshes your memory of time passed, and details the life of a great chronicler of our times. A must read IF you have read her previous books. Much will be lost if you have not.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Like many other reviewers, I read Gail's book, Passages, years ago. What an incredible, full life she has led. I had no idea she was such a prolific writer whose path crossed with many famous and influential leaders and writers. She is an inspiration, still. Like many other reviewers, I read Gail's book, Passages, years ago. What an incredible, full life she has led. I had no idea she was such a prolific writer whose path crossed with many famous and influential leaders and writers. She is an inspiration, still.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    "Daring My Passages: A Memoir" authored by notable celebrity journalist Gail Sheehy (1937-) was an outstanding read from start to finish, not so much for the personal details revealed- (this isn't a sensational tell-all memoir) but for Sheehy's engaging writing style that has won her much fame, recognition, numerous multiple awards; as she recalls her extraordinary literary life and career. The memoir is divided into three parts: 1. "The Pygmalion Years", 2. "The Passages Years" 3. "The Bonus Ye "Daring My Passages: A Memoir" authored by notable celebrity journalist Gail Sheehy (1937-) was an outstanding read from start to finish, not so much for the personal details revealed- (this isn't a sensational tell-all memoir) but for Sheehy's engaging writing style that has won her much fame, recognition, numerous multiple awards; as she recalls her extraordinary literary life and career. The memoir is divided into three parts: 1. "The Pygmalion Years", 2. "The Passages Years" 3. "The Bonus Years". Gail Sheehy's brief narrative of her lonely childhood, early life, and first marriage seemingly put her on the outside looking in, where she began developing her powers of observation that led her to become such a remarkable and celebrated journalist. After her college graduation (UVM) in 1958, she was hired as an editor of the woman's page at the Democrat Chronicle. Sheehy writes about the cultural expectations of male editorial staff where female long term career goals and plans were temporary to being a full time wife and mother first. There wasn't yet a name for feminism, or the women's liberation movement, but readers can see where Sheehy, as she writes about working with Gloria Stienem, (who started out working as a receptionist at Esquire in 1960), and Helen Gurley Brown paved the way for women's rights in the work force. "Seduction at the Algonquin" (chapter 5) begins Sheehy's now historical literary romance, marriage, and relationship to the gifted legendary editor (New York Magazine) Clay Felker (1925-2008) who was noted for his enthusiastic sponsorship and mentoring new writers and journalists, proclaiming he would make them a "star", which he did! Sheehy understandably writes carefully of her beginnings with Felker, as they were both married to others. "Lovesounds of a Wife" (1970) created a "buzz" that launched her writing career. Sheehy covered the historical RFK campaign in 1968, under Felker's direction, they married in 1984. With her daughter Maura, (from her marriage to Albert Sheehy), Sheehy adopted their daughter Moham from a Cambodian refugee camp that she visited on assignment in 1982. I have to agree with previous observations from other reviews that this memoir is a love letter to Felker. While it is noticeable that there are details of Sheehy's life not included in the book, this doesn't change the fact of the richness of literary historical documentation of both US and world cultural customs, people, and events of great interest and fascination. Sheehy wrote extensively about Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and Hillary Clinton, her book "Passages" is called one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress. The author of 16 books, Sheehy resides in NYC. Included are great photos throughout the book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    One of the most fascinating and well written books I have ever read. I have never read any of Gail Sheehy's many, many boos throughout the years. I am glad I started with this one. Her stories about her stories and her career are just fascinating. Her decision to retain years worth of diaries and calendars and notes (a habit I have retained as well) proved to be a true gold mine. Of particular personal interest are the stories behind the story of the Women's Movement in the 1960's and 1970's. Sh One of the most fascinating and well written books I have ever read. I have never read any of Gail Sheehy's many, many boos throughout the years. I am glad I started with this one. Her stories about her stories and her career are just fascinating. Her decision to retain years worth of diaries and calendars and notes (a habit I have retained as well) proved to be a true gold mine. Of particular personal interest are the stories behind the story of the Women's Movement in the 1960's and 1970's. Sheehy's intimate involvement and relationships with the major personalities of the era brought back a lot of memories of that age for me. In the early 1970's (1970-1974), I attended an all-girl's Catholic High School in Richmond, Virginia. Upon Graduation we had a total enrollment of 150 students. My graduating class was 63 girls. It was where we were taught to be strong, brave, bold, intelligent and fearless. We were told to go out into the world, find those "glass ceilings" and shatter them to bits and pieces. Reading Sheehy's behind-the-scenes accounts of the plans and conversations and personalities of the movement made those times feel even more important and intimate. The other stories behind the stories of her career and her love life were equally moving, poignant, hysterically funny and deeply moving. Her sheer audacity to march into the Editor's office to get the chance to move from the Women's Page" to cover real news was an "applause worthy" moment (one of many). Covering "The Troubles' in Northern Ireland left me positively breathless. And the interviews with Margaret Thatcher and Anwar Sadat left me breathless and in tears. The litany of famous names who all play key rolls in her everyday life come across as real people with deep convictions and opinions that impacted world events and truly made a difference in her life in an intimate way. And then there is there is, of course, Clay Felker. Their relationship is just epic on so many levels. I felt his loss in the deepest recesses of my soul. I highly recommend this newest book by Gail Sheehy whether anyone has ever read her books or not. This is a deeply personal piece of work that is informative and entertaining; historic and hysterical; sad and soul soaring. In short, a really, really good read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    (Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw

    I learned plenty about the life of author and literary journalist Gail Sheehy reading her memoir. I have to admit I skipped over some of the pithy details about the politics of publishing and the lives of certain politicians and public figures she met in the course of her career. What interested me the most was her personal life: her struggles as a woman in a man's world, as a writer chasing unconventional stories of interest to women, and as a single mother to two daughters, one of them adopted I learned plenty about the life of author and literary journalist Gail Sheehy reading her memoir. I have to admit I skipped over some of the pithy details about the politics of publishing and the lives of certain politicians and public figures she met in the course of her career. What interested me the most was her personal life: her struggles as a woman in a man's world, as a writer chasing unconventional stories of interest to women, and as a single mother to two daughters, one of them adopted from Cambodia. I also enjoyed reading about her long romance with her mentor/best friend/sometime publisher Clay Felker. They married after almost two decades of an on and off (mostly on) relationship. The last chapters of the memoir leading up to Clay's death were heart-wrenching, yet wonderful. Gail was able to structure palliative care for Clay at home and ultimately, he had what you would call a "good death". Her role as his caretaker led her to write her most recent nonfiction book, Passages in Caretaking, and to an interesting job with AARP. Sheehy's landmark book, Passages, surely changed the world for the better. For many, reading Passages became a rite of passage. Reading about her colorful and extremely interesting life was my privilege and I am glad she took the time to write a memoir.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brad Rice

    Gail Sheehy was a trail blazer, affecting the world with her writing. In her biography she chronicles the years of finding herself in the life and times of her world and in love with an incredible man, who encouraged her in her freedom of expression. Being an exceptional writer, she summarizes he full life quite beautifully. This book flows very nicely and is a pleasure to read. She describes the passages of her own life, as she has made a career of describing passages. She describes one of her e Gail Sheehy was a trail blazer, affecting the world with her writing. In her biography she chronicles the years of finding herself in the life and times of her world and in love with an incredible man, who encouraged her in her freedom of expression. Being an exceptional writer, she summarizes he full life quite beautifully. This book flows very nicely and is a pleasure to read. She describes the passages of her own life, as she has made a career of describing passages. She describes one of her earliest passages as she covered the NRA in Ireland and found herself in the middle of Bloody Sunday in Belfast. Her life was full as she interviewed the likes of Bobby Kennedy, George Howard Bush, Mikhail Gorbechev, and Hillary Clinton among many others. She wrote about wide ranging subjects from Cambodian refugees of Pol Pot to the unspeakable subject of menopause and turned it into a bestseller. She was very candid about her loss in the fight against cancer in her late husband, her late development of alcoholism. I was thoroughly engaged as well as touched by this book. 5 stars for me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This book was a long reading experience but I could not stop. I would recommend it for women who grew up in the 50's and 60's. You will identify with the era in which this story takes place. The author passed through many of the same experiences women of my generation faced during that time. From Betty Crocker to Ms magazine. From marriage and family to an independent, self supporting woman. From following a career to balancing the needs of home and children, the author addresses all of our "pas This book was a long reading experience but I could not stop. I would recommend it for women who grew up in the 50's and 60's. You will identify with the era in which this story takes place. The author passed through many of the same experiences women of my generation faced during that time. From Betty Crocker to Ms magazine. From marriage and family to an independent, self supporting woman. From following a career to balancing the needs of home and children, the author addresses all of our "passages" and changes during the last 50 years through her own experiences. The final chapters were about facing the last few decades of our lives...grandchildren and the loss of loved ones and how we cope. If you remember Tom Wolfe, Shana Alexander, David Frost, Gorbachev, Pete Hamill, Gary Hart, and Gloria Steinem, these people appear across the pages of this memoir and you will relate to this story. I found the chapters on Hillary Clinton most interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Gail Sheehy is a well-respected magazine solumnist who made a name for herself through serious in-depth research jounalism. Her breakthrough book "Passages" showed people, especially women, that they were not alone in their life choices and changes. She followed that with a series of additional Passages-type books, in addition to her detailed political biographical reportage, and lifestyle items for The Daily Beast. She worked for New York magazine, where she met editor Clay Felker, the on-again Gail Sheehy is a well-respected magazine solumnist who made a name for herself through serious in-depth research jounalism. Her breakthrough book "Passages" showed people, especially women, that they were not alone in their life choices and changes. She followed that with a series of additional Passages-type books, in addition to her detailed political biographical reportage, and lifestyle items for The Daily Beast. She worked for New York magazine, where she met editor Clay Felker, the on-again-off-again love of her life; for Vanity Fair under two great editors, Tina Brown and Graydon Carter; and as a freelancer throughout. Becoming a high powered high flyer seems the end-game for Sheehy. Altthough her final chapters are about Clay's illness and death, her alcoholism and renewal, and a new love, the name dropping is endemic throughout the book, some of it gratuitous. Enjoyably readable, yes. Enviable, no.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Andy Madajski

    Fascinating Woman Gail Sheehy seems like a fascinating person, and she's led a really interesting life. I'm really surprised that I've never heard of her before. Apparently she's best known for Passages, a book I'm fairly certain my mom had on her bookshelf in the '70s. She worked on some interesting magazines with fantastic people such as Tom Wolfe. She had a dinner party for Henry Kissinger. She was in Derry for Bloody Sunday. She meditated with the Maharishi. She adopted a Cambodian refugee. L Fascinating Woman Gail Sheehy seems like a fascinating person, and she's led a really interesting life. I'm really surprised that I've never heard of her before. Apparently she's best known for Passages, a book I'm fairly certain my mom had on her bookshelf in the '70s. She worked on some interesting magazines with fantastic people such as Tom Wolfe. She had a dinner party for Henry Kissinger. She was in Derry for Bloody Sunday. She meditated with the Maharishi. She adopted a Cambodian refugee. Like I said - fascinating. It got a little rambling and name-droppy at times, but I suppose that's a pitfall of a memoir - what it's supposed to do. I have to admit that I even got a bit verklempt towards the end, but I don't want to give anything away. It was an enjoyable and very interesting read. 

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andy Madajski

    Gail Sheehy seems like a fascinating person, and she's led a really interesting life. I'm really surprised that I've never heard of her before. Apparently she's best known for Passages, a book I'm fairly certain my mom had on her bookshelf in the '70s. She worked on some interesting magazines with fantastic people such as Tom Wolfe. She had a dinner party for Henry Kissinger. She was in Derry for Bloody Sunday. She meditated with the Maharishi. She adopted a Cambodian refugee. Like I said - fasc Gail Sheehy seems like a fascinating person, and she's led a really interesting life. I'm really surprised that I've never heard of her before. Apparently she's best known for Passages, a book I'm fairly certain my mom had on her bookshelf in the '70s. She worked on some interesting magazines with fantastic people such as Tom Wolfe. She had a dinner party for Henry Kissinger. She was in Derry for Bloody Sunday. She meditated with the Maharishi. She adopted a Cambodian refugee. Like I said - fascinating. It got a little rambling and name-droppy at times, but I suppose that's a pitfall of a memoir - what it's supposed to do. I have to admit that I even got a bit verklempt towards the end, but I don't want to give anything away. It was an enjoyable and very interesting read. 

  26. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book wins for most times I had to check it out (audio book) to finish. It is long, with lots of information. With that being said, it was fascinating to learn about Gails life. I didn't know anything about her before starting this book, and quickly she became such an inspiration. She experienced everything from asking Mr Penney, from JCPenney's for a job, getting hired as a journalist in the 70's male dominated magazine world, attending Woodstock, witnessing Bloody Sunday, interviewing many This book wins for most times I had to check it out (audio book) to finish. It is long, with lots of information. With that being said, it was fascinating to learn about Gails life. I didn't know anything about her before starting this book, and quickly she became such an inspiration. She experienced everything from asking Mr Penney, from JCPenney's for a job, getting hired as a journalist in the 70's male dominated magazine world, attending Woodstock, witnessing Bloody Sunday, interviewing many politics from Sarah Palin, George W Bush and an entire collection on Hillary Clinton. Her story is a reminder to do what you love and always dare to do more. I would recommend this book and am glad I finished it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    In most ways Gail Sheehy is as remarkable a woman as she is a writer; a true trailblazer. And I have great admiration for her daring. Yet throughout her fascinating memoir I found myself conflicted. Allowing for the fact that a memoir is, by its very nature, an exercise in me-ism, Sheehy's Manhattan-centric filter casts her as an unaware elitist consumed by the social circles in which she travels. And that arrogance detracted from my enjoyment of her book as it left me to admire the woman's acco In most ways Gail Sheehy is as remarkable a woman as she is a writer; a true trailblazer. And I have great admiration for her daring. Yet throughout her fascinating memoir I found myself conflicted. Allowing for the fact that a memoir is, by its very nature, an exercise in me-ism, Sheehy's Manhattan-centric filter casts her as an unaware elitist consumed by the social circles in which she travels. And that arrogance detracted from my enjoyment of her book as it left me to admire the woman's accomplishments far more than the woman herself. Of course, on most every level Sheehy would be fine with that. Especially since I don't live in Manhattan. Or summer in the Hamptons.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jezebel Jorge

    What a fascinating life Gail Sheehy is living. I wasn't aware of her remarkable career until I saw this book on one of the daily deal emails. However, I became instantly intrigued and placed it on hold with the library as soon as I read the blurbs. This book should be a must read for writers of any genre. She has a beautiful voice and I was right away intrigued by Ms. Sheehy's story. She is now a role model to me as a writer and a pioneer in feminism. I especially enjoyed the parts about the Kenne What a fascinating life Gail Sheehy is living. I wasn't aware of her remarkable career until I saw this book on one of the daily deal emails. However, I became instantly intrigued and placed it on hold with the library as soon as I read the blurbs. This book should be a must read for writers of any genre. She has a beautiful voice and I was right away intrigued by Ms. Sheehy's story. She is now a role model to me as a writer and a pioneer in feminism. I especially enjoyed the parts about the Kennedy family and her insights behind the writing of her political pieces. Read this book. You won't be disappointed.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Larry Lutz

    I enjoyed the author's recollections and stories of her life, her challenges/triumphs and especially the stories about the media, issues, politics etc. It was particularly challenging for me to read the chapters on the death of her husband, as I had gone through a similar passage in my life. I admired the honesty and insights, but the pull of emotions was painful. Her courage and strength came through in a way that can encourage and inspire others. The pure honesty of her self-reflection was to I enjoyed the author's recollections and stories of her life, her challenges/triumphs and especially the stories about the media, issues, politics etc. It was particularly challenging for me to read the chapters on the death of her husband, as I had gone through a similar passage in my life. I admired the honesty and insights, but the pull of emotions was painful. Her courage and strength came through in a way that can encourage and inspire others. The pure honesty of her self-reflection was to be admired. Personally, I could have done with a little less name-dropping; that's more a reflection of personal style than a criticism of the author.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Siegel

    Gail Sheehy is probably best know for her book Passages(1976.) Besides being the author of 17 books she is a journalist. She covered Robert Kennedy's campaign as a young reporter, studying transcendental meditation, reported on The Black Panthers, Gloria Steinham and the birth of Ms. Magazine. She interviewed many political leaders including Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton. She also talks about her personal life with Clay Felker founder of New York magazine and takes on the subjects of fem Gail Sheehy is probably best know for her book Passages(1976.) Besides being the author of 17 books she is a journalist. She covered Robert Kennedy's campaign as a young reporter, studying transcendental meditation, reported on The Black Panthers, Gloria Steinham and the birth of Ms. Magazine. She interviewed many political leaders including Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton. She also talks about her personal life with Clay Felker founder of New York magazine and takes on the subjects of feminism, motherhood, menopause and caregiving. A fascinating read of a very dynamic woman. Excellent audiobook reader.

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