Gurian, Michael W. 1958-
GURIAN, Michael W. 1958-
PERSONAL: Born April 11, 1958, in Honolulu, HI; married Gale Reid; children: two daughters. Education: Gonzaga University, B.A., 1980; Eastern Washington University, M.F.A., 1985.
ADDRESSES: Home—East 9708 Maringo Dr., Spokane, WA 99206. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Psychotherapist, writer.
The Prince and the King: Healing the Father-SonWound, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.
Mothers, Sons, and Lovers, Shambhala (Boston, MA), 1994.
The Wonder of Boys, Putnam (New York, NY), 1996.
A Fine Young Man, Jeremy P. Tarcher (New York, NY), 1998.
From Boys to Men: All about Adolescence and You, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1999.
Understanding Guys: A Guide for Teenage Girls, Price Stern Sloan (New York, NY), 1999.
The Good Son, Jeremy P. Tarcher (New York, NY), 1999.
An American Mystic: A Novel of Spiritual Adventure, Viking Arkana (New York, NY), 2000.
What Stories Does My Son Need?: A Guide to Books and Movies That Build Character in Boys, Jeremy P. Tarcher (New York, NY), 2000.
(With Patricia Henley and Terry Trueman) Boys andGirls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and Parents, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2001.
The Soul of the Child: Nurturing the Divine Identity ofOur Children, Atria (New York, NY), 2002.
The Wonder of Girls, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Arlette Ballew) The Boys and Girls Learn Differently: Action Guide for Teachers, Jossey-Bass (San Francisco, CA), 2003.
The Miracle: A Visionary Novel, Washington Square Press (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Michael Gurian has written numerous books on child development and parenting, as well as novels of visionary adventure. He is a social philosopher, family therapist, educator, and cofounder of the Gurian Institute, where teachers are trained in brain-based and gender innovations. In an interview for the World Mysticism Web site, Gurian explained, "In a sense, I've resolved my own confusion about my careers by understanding that I have a secular and a spiritual calling. The secular calling is fulfilled in parenting and psychology books, the spiritual calling in poetry and novels of visionary adventure. Both serve the world in the ways that I am called to serve. All writing is at its best when its intention is service."
Relying on two decades of research in thirty countries around the world, Gurian has defined significant disparities in boys and girls, based in large part on their different sets of biological imperatives. To this effect he has written several books to assist educators and parents in the development of healthy, moral children. The Wonder of Boys, A Fine Young Man, The Wonder of Girls, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently are examples of some of his best-selling titles. In his books Gurian attempts to explain the causes for these gender differences, including brain development and hormonal changes. Gurian believes that while biology is the framework for the differences between the sexes, it is society's responsibility to direct these natural impulses, and he prescribes advice and new parenting paradigms for raising boys and girls. Regarding The Wonder of Boys, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly stated, "What Gurian adds to this generally recognized background material is a persuasive summons to society, specifically parents, educators and communities, to unite to channel these traits in positive directions."
Reflected in Gurian's work is the influence of his unusual upbringing. Gurian was born to parents from Jewish and Catholic backgrounds originally, but who continued to seek out spiritual wisdom, leading their family around the world and practicing different religions. For Gurian, the study and practice of world religions was just a normal part of his life. This background has inspired him to follow his passion for writing novels. His debut novel, An American Mystic: A Novel of Spiritual Adventure, describes a young man's search for enlightenment. Along the way he learns the ten universal steps to spiritual wisdom. Spirituality and Health Web site reviewers Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat stated, "This fluid and enchanting work of visionary fiction opens many new doors into the interpenetrating worlds of spirituality, shamanism, dreams, consciousness, and enlightenment." A critic for Kirkus Reviews found An American Mystic "well-conceived and written with real style and grace, but altogether too hokey in the end."
In many ways Gurian has meshed his spiritual and psychological sides in his book The Soul of the Child: Nurturing the Divine Identity of Our Children. Here, Gurian unites research from various neurosciences with world religious traditions to produce a theory that the soul's existence is provable. Vanessa Bush, reviewer for Booklist, concluded, "Whatever their religious and spiritual beliefs, parents will appreciate this thoughtful book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 2002, review of The Soul of theChild: Nurturing the Divine Identity of Our Children, p. 288.
Kirkus Reviews, February, 2000, review of An American Mystic: A Novel of Spiritual Adventure, p. 288.
Publishers Weekly, September 2, 1996, review of TheWonder of Boys, p. 125, May 5, 2003, review of The Miracle: A Visionary Novel, p. 200.
Michael Gurian Home Page,http://michael-gurian.com/ (May 20, 2003).
Spirituality and Health Web site,http://www.spiritualityhealth.com/ (May 20, 2003), Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, review of An American Mystic.
Visionary Fiction Web site,http://www.visionaryfiction.org/ (June 5, 2003), interview with Michael Gurian.
World Mysticism Web site,http://www.worldmysticism.com/ (May 20, 2003), interview with Michael Gurian.*