Sara Gilliam was 16 years old when her mom published a bestselling book about the lives and struggles of adolescent girls.
Twenty-five years later — and now living in Hamilton — Gilliam has worked with her mother, psychologist and author Mary Pipher, to publish an updated version of the iconic Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls.
“It ended up being a much bigger project than we anticipated,” said Gilliam, speaking over the phone from her home in Hamilton.
Reviving Ophelia touched a nerve when it came out in 1994, spending three years on the New York Times bestseller list. Drawing on her experience as a therapist, Pipher told stories of young American women coming of age in what she called a “girl-poisoning” culture.”
But a lot has changed since the 90s — so for the 25th anniversary, Pipher and her daughter decided to take another look at “middle-class, middle-America girls.”
Hearing from girls themselves was crucial for Pipher and Gilliam, just as it had been in the original version. They started by sending copies of the original book to teen girls around the U.S., Gilliam said, asking them to make notes and tell them what was missing.