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Release: Jan. 9, 2001

Best-selling author Mary Pipher to speak locally on aging

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Clinical psychologist and best-selling author Mary Pipher will visit Iowa City Feb. 20 to discuss families and aging. During her visit Pipher will attend a reception at the University of Iowa College of Nursing and read from her work on the popular "Live From Prairie Lights" radio series.

The reading and lecture will be at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Iowa City. The event is free and open to the public and will be carried live on public radio station WSUI-AM. An informational fair on care giving and intergenerational relationships, featuring experts from community organizations and UI programs, will precede Pipher's talk beginning at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton. Also, Riverside Theatre's Ron Clark and Jody Hovland will present a short sketch on growing older titled, "I'm Herbert," immediately prior to Pipher's talk.

Pipher, who lives in Lincoln, Neb., is best known as the author of "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls," which topped the New York Times bestseller list for 27 weeks. Her latest book, "Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of our Elders" -- also a best-seller -- addresses the growing divide between baby boomers and their aging parents and charts a course toward reconciliation.

"Mary was very well received when she spoke here in 1996 about her work with adolescent girls," said Michael Lensing of Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service, a sponsor of Pipher's visit. "Her speaking style and her commitment are very moving. Many people will be able to relate to her upcoming presentation, which will reach out to baby boomers and their parents, addressing their relationships."

Nationally, about 12.7 percent of Americans are 65 or older; in Iowa, the figure is 15.4 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the proportion of Americans 65 or older will reach 18 percent by 2020 and almost 23 percent by 2050. The first baby boomers will turn 65 in 2012.

Pipher's visit, expected to be her only appearance in Iowa in 2001, is sponsored by the UI College of Nursing; the Eastern Iowa International Year of Older Persons Committee; Lensing Funeral and Cremation Services; Mercy Hospital of Iowa City; the Iowa City Press-Citizen; Silvercrest Assisted Care; Iowa City Hospice; Iowa State Bank and Trust; Hills Bank and Trust; Prairie Lights; Sheraton Iowa City; and the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center.