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Daring: My Passages

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Overview

The author of the New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir.

Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the unconventional life of Gail Sheehy, a writer who dared to blaze a trail in a "man's world," becoming one of the groundbreaking writers at New York magazine along with such stellar journalists as Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, and Jimmy Breslin. Sheehy dared to walk New York City streets with hookers and pimps to expose ...

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Daring: My Passages

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Overview

The author of the New York Times bestseller Passages returns with her inspiring memoir.

Candid, insightful, and powerful, Daring: My Passages is the story of the unconventional life of Gail Sheehy, a writer who dared to blaze a trail in a "man's world," becoming one of the groundbreaking writers at New York magazine along with such stellar journalists as Tom Wolfe, Gloria Steinem, and Jimmy Breslin. Sheehy dared to walk New York City streets with hookers and pimps to expose violent prostitution; to march with civil rights protestors in Northern Ireland as British paratroopers opened fire; to break the glass ceiling in a media world fueled by testosterone, killer competition, and grit. Daring: My Passages 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.

Sheehy reflects on desire, ambition, and wanting it all. Fascinating and no-holds-barred, her memoir is a testament to guts, resilience, smarts, and offers a bold perspective on all of life's passages.

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  • Daring: My Passages
    Daring: My Passages  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
07/14/2014
An overlong memoir by the investigative journalist and prolific author Sheehy (Passages in Caregiving; Sex and the Seasoned Woman, etc.) tracks four decades of her astonishing ability to catch America’s swiftly changing moods, from undercover operations in gynecology for the New York’s Herald Tribune and prostitution for New York magazine, to books on “pop psychology” and caregiving. She attended college (the first of the women in her Westchester family to do so) in the late 1950s , married early, and worked to put her husband through medical school. Sheehy had drive and chutzpah, asking her first boss—Mr. James Cash Penney of Manhattan’s JC Penney—if he paid the “girls the same as boys.” The gritty, testosterone-fueled world of journalism attracted her, and as a single mother of a young daughter, she moved from the women’s page of the Trib to Clay Felker’s brand-new New York magazine by the late 1960s, making her name swiftly within the ranks of the New Journalists (which included talents like Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, and Joan Didion) with a piece about Bobby Kennedy shortly after his assassination. Romancing the boss turned into a long, tumultuous relationship that eventually led to marriage. Sheehy and Felker became a New York power couple, hosting Henry Kissinger and David Frost for a memorable dinner over Peking duck in 1972, and later weathering the takeover of New York by Rupert Murdoch in 1976. Passages made Sheehy a wildly popular and bestselling author, followed by her groundbreaking work on menopause, The Silent Passage. Sheehy’s ponderous chronicle dwells on her uneven relationship with the ambitious, larger-than-life Felker, whom she nurtured through his death in 2008. There is so much spectacle in terms of a cultural record that the reader loses sight of Sheehy as the focus and heroine of her own life. (Sept.)
Library Journal
04/01/2014
Sheehy is best known for Passages, a New York Times best seller about milestone moments in adult life that was named by the Library of Congress one of the ten most influential books of our times. Here's a reminder that she is also a veteran journalist who has served as contributing editor to Vanity Fair for three decades, won the New York Newswomen's Club Front Page Award seven times, and profiled everyone from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein—thus breaking ground for women in journalism. We also hear about her marriage to New York magazine creator Clay Felker. With a 125,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-08
A journalist recounts her risks, fears and triumphs. Author of 16 books, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sheehy (Passages in Caregiving, 2010, etc.) has made a career out of examining life stages. Passages (1976) stayed on the New York Times' best-seller list for three years, followed by Silent Passage (1993), New Passages (1995) and Understanding Men's Passages (1999). Passages in Caregiving was motivated by the last illness of her husband, publisher Clay Felker; now, she reflects on her own transitions in a brisk, gossipy narrative complete with handsome hero (Felker), villain (Rupert Murdoch), nail-biting adventures (Bloody Sunday, for one), scores of celebrities (including interview subjects Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Bobby Kennedy and Anwar Sadat) and famous friends (Gloria Steinem, Tom Wolfe and David Frost). Like Wolfe, Sheehy is a practitioner of New Journalism. "We treated the protagonists of nonfiction stories like characters in a novel," writes Sheehy. "What was their motivation?...What was it like living inside their reality?" The author reprises her own reality in three parts: the Pygmalion Years, when she was a young, ambitious journalist trying to establish her reputation and overcome editors' prejudices about women writers, whom they commonly assigned to stories about food and style; the Passages Years, when she was a star writer for, among many other venues, Felker's New York magazine, Helen Gurley Brown's Cosmopolitan and Tina Brown's Vanity Fair; and the Bonus Years, focused on Felker's cancer and Sheehy's gradual recovery from alcohol abuse and depression following his death. After Passages, Sheehy felt she had to "justify" that success with "an academic-level study." The result was Pathfinders (1981), about people who risked "choosing the less-traveled path." Raising a daughter on her own, adopting a Cambodian girl after visiting a refugee camp and helping to found the Women's Refugee Commission to advocate for survivors of genocide are among many reasons—aside from her career choices—why Sheehy, too, is one of those audacious pathfinders. Daring, the author amply shows in this spirited life story, defines her.
O: the Oprah Magazine
“Here, [Sheehy] looks back on her remarkable life with unflinching candor.”
More.com
Daring is an inspiring portrait of a resilient woman who fought hard to live an authentic life, and won.”
Gloria Steinem
“Daring by Gail Sheehy is the anecdotal life of a pioneering and hardworking journalist who plunges into everything with energy and curiosity. After a lifetime of writing about other people, she takes on the most difficult assignment - herself. It’s an irresistible read.”
Erica Jong
“Gail Sheehy’s work always combines the care of a scholar and the sensibility of a novelist. Her memoir is a thrilling read.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Ardent, approachable, forthright, and empathetic ... a riveting account of one woman’s exhilarating trajectory, a page-turning, powerhouse testament to resilience, perseverance, and hope.”
Entertainment Weekly
“[Sheehy’s] exuberance leaps off the page as she maps out her professional highs - interviews with world leaders, her best-seller Passages - against the backdrop of a failed first marriage and her decades-long relationship with New York magazine founder Clay Felker. A-”
Vanity Fair
“[R]emarkable ... a fascinating narrative with Gail’s voice, breathless and intense, as she tries to make sense of everything she’s done—her work, her travels, her wild giddy adventures, her sometimes intensely painful experiences.”
East Hampton Star
“Its familiarity captivates. ...The book is a thorough remembrance of [Sheehy’s] life . . . her entire life. And she’s had a big life.”
the Oprah Magazine O
“Here, [Sheehy] looks back on her remarkable life with unflinching candor.”
Tom Wolfe
“The love story of two superstars in the final great moment of American magazine journalism.”
Meredith Vieira
“Gail Sheehy says that what she cares about most is honesty, and this remarkable memoir is proof. ...I dare you to put it down. I couldn’t.”
Milton Glaser
“Gail takes us behind the scenes of New York magazine as only one who was there could do.”
Richard Reeves
“An astonishing book! ...Those were the days, my friend; we thought they’d never end. They did, but Gail Sheehy brings them alive again.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062291691
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 85,238
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gail Sheehy is the author of sixteen books, including the classic New York Times bestseller Passages, named one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress. A multiple award-winning literary journalist, she was one of the original contributors to New York magazine and has been a contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984. A popular lecturer, Sheehy was named AARP's Ambassador of Caregiving in 2009. She lives in New York City.

Biography

Bestselling author and cultural observer Gail Sheehy has changed the way millions of people throughout the world look at their lives. Her original landmark work, Passages, made history, remaining on The New York Times bestseller list for more than three years and appearing in 28 languages. A Library of Congress survey named Passages one of the ten most influential books of our time.

In other recent bestsellers, New Passages and Understanding Men's Passages, Sheehy revisited the stages of adult life and mapped out a completely new frontier -- Second Adulthood. In The Silent Passage, Sheehy broke the taboo surrounding menopause and opened a dialogue vital to maturing women's health. The book presents a common-sense approach for managing the 20-year transition from early peri-menopause to the lengthened stage of post-menopause. She culminated a decade of Hillary-observing with the biography, Hillary's Choice, soon to be a two hour movie on A&E. Exploring the life of one of the nation's most intriguing women, Sheehy raises fundamental questions for every woman juggling career, family and personal ambition.

Sheehy's next book will be about a whole new universe of lusty, liberated women over 50 and their experiences in sex, love, dating, new dreams, marriage, and remarriage. It will be published by Random House in early 2006.

A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sheehy received a graduate fellowship to Columbia University where she studied under anthropologist Margaret Mead, who became her mentor. As a literary journalist, she was one of the original contributors to New York magazine. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984, she won the Washington Journalism Review Award for Best Magazine Writer in America for her in-depth character portraits of national and world leaders.

Sheehy is a seven-time recipient of the New York Newswomen's Club Front Page Award for distinguished journalism, most recently for her 2001 Vanity Fair article "September Widows." The American Psychological Association recently presented a presidential citation to Sheehy for "her unique ability to combine journalism and psychology." Other honors include the National Magazine Award, the Penny-Missouri Journalism Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Race Relations (which she earned for her book, Spirit of Survival). She is one of the founders of the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and recently launched a Writing Scholars Community for re-entry students at the University of California, Berkeley. For more information on Sheehy, please visit her website: www.gailsheehy.com.

Sheehy resides in New York and California.

Biography courtsy of the author's official web site.

Good To Know

Sheehy is the mother of two daughters: Maura, a psychologist and writer, and Mohm, an artist and art therapist.

Some of her favorite activities include writing plays, playing with her grandson Declan, and traveling with her husband, Clay Felker, professor at the Felker Magazine Center at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York City and Berkeley, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1937
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Vermont; M.A., Columbia School of Journalism

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    Alex

    She was sitting in her desk at Silvermoon High,doodling boredly in her notebook as the teacher droned on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Given To Me For An Honest Review Gail Sheehy's book Daring: My

    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 interestng 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 enjoyed
     reading it.  I recommend it to all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    Roma

    Done

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    C. Nemisis

    Stiffened at Roma. "Who are you?"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    Alpha-Midnight

    Go to res 3 and writeyour bio

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews

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