Julie Lythcott-Haims

in Conversation with Paula Farmer

Sunday, June 14th,
7:00est/4:00pst

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Julie Lythcott-Haims is the author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult as well as the critically-acclaimed and prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance.

Julie believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. Her TED Talk on the raising children was one of the top talks of 2016, and in 2020 she became a regular correspondent with CBS This Morning on parenting. Her second book, Real American, illustrates her experience with racism and her journey toward self-acceptance.

She wrote the foreword for Writing Memoir, a book of writing prompts developed by Julie and her colleagues at the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto for those hungry to share their lived experiences. A fourth book, It’s Your Turn: The Real How-to on Adulting, will be out in April 2021.

Julie is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She serves on the boards of Foundation for a College Education, Global Citizen Year, Common Sense Media, and The Writers Grotto, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org. She volunteers with the hospital program No One Dies Alone.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, their young adults, and her mother.

“After hundreds of talks with parents around the world, here’s what I’ve come to. We parents are the lucky humans given the humbling task of raising a child. We’re supposed to be alongside them, guiding them, giving them more and more room to try, learn, grow, persevere, achieve. But, these days, we can tend to get in the way, by micromanaging our kid’s path or by outright dragging them down it. We think we know what we’re doing—but we end up depriving them of developing self-efficacy. And that leads to anxiety and depression. So. We have to get our act together. We have to get out of our kid’s way so they can develop the skills and smarts they’ll need in order to thrive as adults.”

– Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims first book, the 2015 New York Times bestseller How to Raise an Adult, details how a parent can rob a child from developing agency by over-parenting. It emerged from Julie’s decade as Stanford University’s Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising, where she was known for her fierce advocacy for young adults and fierce critique of the growing trend of parental involvement in the day-to-day lives of college students which was becoming a nationwide trend. How to Raise an Adult has been published in over two dozen countries and gave rise to a TED talk that became one of the top TED Talks of 2016 with over 3.5 million views and counting, as well as a forthcoming sequel on how to be an adult, for young adults.

Two years later Julie published Real American: A Memoir, a critically-acclaimed and award-winning memoir which examines racism through her experience as a Black and biracial person.

Julie’s experience writing and publishing her own memoir led her to also publish a new book on the process of writing called >Writing Memoir. This book offers writing advice and prompts to kickoff the process with space to write, making it a perfect starter kit for anyone looking to begin their own book.Written in conjunction with the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, Writing Memoir, is the latest installment in a series on writing with other members of the legendary creative community in San Francisco.

Julie’s work has appeared throughout the media including in the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement of London, the Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, Parents, AsUs, the PBS News Hour, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, The Today Show, National Public Radio and its affiliates, C-SPAN, the TD Jakes Show, and numerous podcasts and radio shows. She serves on the boards of Foundation for a College Education in East Palo Alto, CA, Global Citizen Year, in Oakland, CA, Common Sense Media, in San Francisco, and on the advisory board of Lean Inin Palo Alto, CA. She is a member of the Peninsula chapter of Threshold Choir and volunteers with the hospital program No One Dies Alone.

Julie is also a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, her two teenagers, and her mother.

Visit the Book Passage website to have any of Julie’s books delivered right to your door.

You’re sure to enjoy these Book Passage favorites:

How to Raise an Adult

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Real American: A Memoir

Real American- A Memoir

Writing Memoir

Writing Memoir

Get ready to join Julie in conversation, Sunday, June 14th.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation:

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any that match your interests.
Feel free to add your own question. Then spread the word to make sure others have the chance to help move your question to the top of the shared list.

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    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

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    Where did the idea of Writing Memoir as more of a workbook come from?

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    There seems to be an explosion in the genre of memoirs lately? Why do you think Americans are so fascinated in this moment with memoir reading and memoir writing?

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    Having written a memoir where you confront difficult subjects like growing up in America and facing racism and micro-aggressions, what can you say about the process of memoir writing and how you were transformed by it?

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    What do most parents get wrong about trying to help their kids?

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    Why do you think is it so hard for today’s parents to be more hands-off with their kids?

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    There seems to be an epidemic of anxiety and depression in teens and even adolescents today? To what extent do you think parenting contributes to that and what can parents do differently?