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Lost Fathers: How Women Can Heal from Adolescent Father Loss Paperback – March 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The premise of this grief recovery manual is that adolescent girls suffer more than boys from the loss of a father, because females, still regarded culturally as less valuable than men, need to feel secure in the affection of a male figure. While not wholly convincing, Herring's volume argues further that from ages 12 to 21, when children begin separating from their parents, girls who lack a father can find this rite of passage more difficult or even impossible to accomplish. Herring, a creative writer (Monsoons) and certified grief recovery specialist, lost her own father to heart disease when she was 19, and she devotes a great deal of text (occasionally too much) to recounting her own experience, although she also cites some clinical research and other people's personal histories. Adopting the increasingly popular notion that "we are storytelling creatures," she suggests a variety of exercises in recording and examining one's "storyline" for those who, even many years later, haven't healed from bereavement or separation (with specific focuses on loss from parents' divorce, abandonment or incarceration) and are feeling its impact on their relationships. Herring's tone is sober but soothing, and her book may aid women having trouble resolving their grief. (Apr.)
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About the Author

Laraine Herring is an author, playwright, editor, teacher, and certified grief-recovery specialist. She holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in counseling psychology, and she has developed workshops that use writing as a tool for healing through grief and loss. She currently teaches creative writing at Phoenix Community College. Ms. Herring's father died when she was a teenager after a long illness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden (March 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159285155X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592851553
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laraine Herring holds and MFA in creative writing and an MA in counseling psychology. She has developed numerous workshops that use writing as a tool for healing grief and loss. She is the author of three novels: Gathering Lights: A Novel of San Francisco; Into the Garden of Gethsemane, Georgia, and Ghost Swamp Blues. Her books on writing include The Writing Warrior: Discovering the Courage to Free Your True Voice (voted one of the best books for writers from Poets & Writers magazine) and Writing Begins with the Breath: Embodying Your Authentic Voice. She is also the author of Lost Fathers: How Women Can Heal From Adolescent Father Loss and the short story collection Monsoons. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in national and local publications. Her fiction has won the Barbara Deming Award for Women and her nonfiction work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She currently directs the creative writing program at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona and she teaches at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. Learn more about Laraine at www.laraineherring.com.

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Top Customer Reviews

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I feel the title of the book is misleading. Most of the book seems to concentrate on womens adolescent loss from fathers who have died, and not much on abandonment issues. Much of the book is the author's personal experience from her father's death. I would not recommend this book to women who have lost their father through abandonment/divorce. Yes, loss is loss, but there are different issues surrounding a father who leaves the family vs. the finality of death.
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Laraine Herring has written a book on father loss that really applies to mother loss as well, but specifically the father. As a reader, I gained insight into parental loss, and with the addition of her own poetry there's a personal journey that takes us beyond sheer intellect (which is very evident in this book, well written, intelligent). I'm left with the feeling that Ms. Herring is a woman of heart and mind, and with this balance a healing takes place. It's the kind of book you want to mark up, bend the page, read the poetry out loud, share with a friend, a group. Read it more than once, enjoy the process of heart and mind.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a writer, too, and have been working on dealing with the loss of my father in some way since he died some 20 (plus!) years ago. I've read a lot - pop psychology and other - on coping with loss, but never saw this before. I found it in a Georgetown bookstore and started flipping through it. An hour or so later I had almost finished a first read and was in line to buy it. It's among the most useful books I've ever read.

It helps a lot that Ms. herring is a fellow writer, pretty much exactly my age, lost her father at a similar point, with a sister of similar relative age.

With all due respect to the previous poster, this is NOT about mother loss. I've found no shortage of books there. It's very specifically about losing your father when you're female and not a child or an adult but somewhere between girl and woman. The specificity is what makes it a find for me.

It also had very concrete writing assignments and wonderful insights. Thank you Ms. Herring - this books has a specific and limited market but your talents have not gone unnoticed and I hope will be seen by others too! Write more!
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