Murdock, Maureen

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MURDOCK, Maureen


Female. Education: Earned M.A. and M.F.T.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Shambhala Publications, P.O. Box 308, Back Bay Annex, Boston, MA 02117.


Family therapist, teacher, and writer. Held various teaching positions at Sonoma State University, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and University of California.


Spinning Inward, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1982.

The Heroine's Journey: Women's Quest for Wholeness, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1990.

The Hero's Daughter, Fawcett Columbine (New York, NY), 1994.

The Heroine's Journey Workbook, Shambhala Publications (Boston, MA), 1998.

Unreliable Truth: Turning Memory into Memoir, Seal (New York, NY), 2003.


Maureen Murdock is a family therapist, a teacher, and a writer. She writes mainly about the psychology of women's issues. Murdock's first book, Spinning Inward, is a study on the use of imagery in the education of children. The book includes examples and exercises. A reviewer for Booklist stated that the book emphasizes "creativity, human growth, and the integration of body and mind." In Murdock's second book, The Heroine's Journey: Women's Quest for Wholeness, she turns her focus from children to women. Later she also developed a workbook to go along with this title. A reviewer for Exceptional Human Experience Network wrote, "This is a much needed book that defines the stages of the modern woman's quest."

In The Heroine's Journey, Murdock breaks down a woman's—or "heroine's"—journey into ten steps. She uses examples from her own life as well as the experiences of the women in her workshops. According to an Exceptional Human Experience Network reviewer, "Murdock sets out the stages of the heroine's journey, guided by her own experience as a 'father's daughter.' She had first to find her own values within herself and then relate them to the masculine." The book was written in response to Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Murdock was a student of Campbell's and she was troubled that he had excluded women from his work. According to a reviewer for Library Journal, Murdock "ends with hope for true conjunction, true union beyond duality."

The Hero's Daughter explores women's identification with their fathers. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote, "Murdock examines the costs (and payoffs) for women who have idealized and strongly identified with their fathers." In a review for Choice, L. M. C. Abbott observed, "Murdock here undertakes to describe the difficult and costly path from being a father's daughter to establishing separate identity." In Murdock's latest book, Unreliable Truth: Turning Memory into Memoir, the author states that we use memory to create our identities. According to a Publishers Weekly reviewer "just as memory shapes identity, says Murdock, identity, once formed, shapes how we remember things." In this book, Murdock explores memoirs and various authors who have written memoirs.



Booklist, December 15, 1987, review of Spinning Inward, p. 659.

Choice, February, 1995, L. M. C. Abbott, review of The Hero's Daughter, p. 1008.

Library Journal, June 1, 1990, review of The Heroine's Journey, p. 136.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 11, 1994, Erika Taylor, review of The Hero's Daughter, p. 6.

New Age Journal, November-December, 1994, review of The Hero's Daughter, p. 112.

Publishers Weekly, August 15, 1994, review of The Hero's Daughter, p. 85; April 28, 2003, review of Unreliable Truth: Turning Memory into Memoir, p. 60.

Utne Reader, July-August, 1991, Keith Thompson, review of The Heroine's Journey, p. 138.


Exceptional Human Experience Network, (November 3, 2003), review of The Herione's Journey., (November 3, 2003), Douglas Eby, interview with Murdock.*