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American Icarus and America on the Couch, two new books by Pythia Peay

A journalist’s epic biography of the life and death of her father-a flier, farmer, dreamer and alcoholic-and interviews w/ psychologists on the American psyche.

"With these books, Pythia Peay is on the verge of sharing huge psycho-spiritual-literary riches with the world." Buddhist teacher and bestselling author Tara Brach.

My name is Pythia Peay. I’m an author and depth journalist for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today. Over the past thirty years, I’ve interviewed religious and spiritual teachers, academics and activists, psychologists and Jungian analysts. I've written feature stories on dream work, death and dying, politics and psychology, and the soul of a city.  But when it came to understanding the regular Joe who happened to be my father, Joe Carroll, I was at a loss. 

Driven from home at a young age by my dad’s alcoholism and abusive temper, I let our painful father-daughter relationship sink into forgetfulness. This all changed when my father was diagnosed in 1994 with terminal cancer. As my father lay dying, the unexpected happened: His soul woke up. Seeking reconciliation, he called me, and the rest of his estranged family, to his bedside. We drew close once again.

After my father’s death I began wrestling with unanswered questions: Why had he been the way he was? Why had the bad overtaken the good in him? Stepping into Joe’s shoes I set out to experience his youth and all the events that had befallen him along the way. From Altoona and the Pennsylvania Railroad, to the Air Transport Command during World War II, TWA and 1950s Missouri and the cultural upheavals of the sixties that would drive us apart, American Icarus tells his story of the people and places who made him, the country, and the times he lived in. America on the Couch is an inspiring and enlightening collection of interviews with some of the world's leading psychologists on the deep historical, archetypal and psychological background of such enduring issues as immigration, war and violence, addiction, the presidency, and the classic myths of independence and individuality that shaped my father and his homeland.

These books have been twenty years in the making. By pre-ordering one or both of these books, you'll enable their design, editing, production, printing, and shipment to your home. I'm working with my editor and publisher, Martin Rowe of Lantern Books, who nearly 15 years ago, inspired me to tell the story of my father's life in the shadow of the American psyche. Through this campaign, you can help us bring these books into print. Through them, we hope you'll be inspired to read the text of your own parents’ lives, for all the ways they shaped you, for the lessons you can learn from the times they lived through, their failures and mistakes, the suffering they endured, and for the talents, strengths, and virtues that are your (and America's) inheritance. 

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