Harley and Me: Embracing Risk on the Road to a More Authentic Life


Product Details

Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.6 X 0.8 inches | 0.88 pounds

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About the Author

Bernadette Murphy has published three books of creative nonfiction: The Tao Gals' Guide to Real Estate (with Michelle Huneven); The Knitter's Gift; and the bestselling Zen and the Art of Knitting (2002) in which she uses memoir and reportage to explore the connection between fiber arts, creativity, and spirituality. She served for six years as a weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times. Her personal narratives and essays on literature have appeared in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Manifest Station, BOOK Magazine, Ms. Magazine, LA Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She currently serves as core faculty in creative nonfiction at the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA program. Learn more at bernadette-murphy.com.


Praise for Harley and Me

Let's just say it up front. Bernadette Murphy is a powerful woman, even if she's petite and 'bird boned.' She survived a childhood with a mentally ill mother. She raised three children. She's a professor, a journalist, a marathoner, an ice climber, a Sierra hiker, and, as she tells us in her gripping memoir, Harley and Me, a brave motorcyclist. This woman has a lot to brag about, and yet, thankfully, she is not casting for bad-ass cred in this memoir. Instead, we see a woman at midlife who's questioning everything she's been taught about gender roles and risk . . . What's truly refreshing is that she shows how the path to transformation is a rocky road. No easy 10 Steps to Survive Your Midlife Crisis provided here. Her story inspires without being tritely inspirational, and that is a real gift. --The Rumpus

Murphy takes the cliché of the middle-aged man and a sports car and turns it around in this memoir about how she, as a forty-eight-year-old college professor, wife, and mother of three learned to ride a motorcycle. Murphy writes discerningly not only of the motorcycling, but of the underlying neuroscience and psychology. She argues persuasively for the idea of using risk to transform life. -- The National Book Review

Murphy's book is a hybrid: part memoir, part travelogue, part science-psychology. It's a powerful call to reconsider our impulse to 'settle in' during the second half of our lives. For Murphy, risks and new experiences are not exclusive to 25-year-olds. We'd all do well to look 'into the Eyes of the Beast' more often, to lean into our fears, turn on the gas, and roll. -- The Chicago Review of Books

Riveting, intimate, and a fun read . . . Living vicariously through Murphy's travels gives us insight into what it means to embrace mid-life rather than complain about it. Her story and her book are compelling. --TribeLA Magazine

Harley and Me is a whip smart, revelatory investigation into the science of risk-taking and a brave memoir of personal growth. Everyone's life crashes at some point, but what Bernadette Murphy did to pull herself upright again makes this book a thrilling ride all the way. It's a road more people ought to travel. You don't have to be a biker or a woman to get what's going on here, Harley and Me is for all of us. But after reading it you may end up buying a motorcycle. I did. --Peter Nichols, bestselling author of The Rocks and A Voyage for Madmen

With her trademark warmth and sagacity, Bernadette Murphy has penned both a lyrical memoir and a battle cry for personal transformation. She delivers an essential tale, rich with truth and lyricism. Murphy is a master storyteller with a keen wit and a gift for inspiration. --Jillian Lauren, author of NY Times bestseller Some Girls: My Life in a Harem, and Everything You Ever Wanted

After reading Harley and Me, I now know that without risk, you can't ride into the center of your life, with or without a motorcycle. --Henry Winkler

The reason so many people's lives begin to truncate and get small as they move through time is because they've lost the ability to take a risk. Even if that risk is as small as going to a party alone where you don't know anyone. We can all learn to take more risks. Especially when we realize how robust the payoff is. Whether riding a Harley or learning how to dance, taking risks can enhance your life and health on every level. Let Harley and Me be your guide. -- Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Wellbeing

In Harley and Me, Bernadette Murphy gives us a road-map for re-wilding a conventional life. This timely memoir is not about getting your life together, it's how to loosen up on a well-lived life and make space for the unexpected. Inspiring, funny, and honest, Murphy puts to rest the old myth that adventurous women always end badly. --Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

Lovingly researched and compulsively readable, Harley and Me should come with a warning label: CAUTION! This book will change your life--and in ways you can't yet imagine. --Michelle Huneven, author of Blame and Off Course

For any woman who has ever needed to adapt or die, Harley and Me is essential reading. Beyond familiar platitudes of loving ourselves and being brave and never giving up, Bernadette Murphy's luminous book shows us how to take risks that make us fierce and vulnerable, knowing that true strength is about being generous as much as it is about not giving in. --Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World and Poster Child

Bernadette Murphy's road memoir is a stirring reminder that it's never too late to become the person you were meant to be. I may never ride a Harley, but Murphy's story has me longing to jump into the driver's seat of my own grand adventure. It's a call to discover the world, take risks, and lean in to possibility. Who says getting older has to mean settling down? --Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget, and former personal essays editor at Salon.com

For most of us the book is likely be armchair inspiring, but it will probably help you take the next risk you should take...--MUTHA Magazine