American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country

This tender, extraordinary memoir captures the brilliance and heartache, love and  reckoning, of a daughter’s near-mythic relationship with her complicated, charismatic  father. Beautifully written, piercingly observed, American Icarus deserves a place next to Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood and Mary Gordon’s The Shadow Man.- Mark Matousek, author, The Boy He Left Behind



America on the Couch: Psychological Perspectives on American Politics and Culture

A unique and welcome collection of interviews with leading psychologists over twenty years . . . full of revelations and insights to shape our notions of citizenship.” –Joshua  Wolf Shenk, author, Lincoln’s Melancholy and Powers of Two.

Family photos from American Icarus




On Writing As An Adventure: How My Analyst Helped Me Through My Writer's Block

  • Posted on: 7 October 2015
  • By: pythia
I was well into my second decade of analysis when I hit a wall in my freelance writing career. It was early 2000, and, gathering my courage, I’d submitted a query to GEORGE magazine—with its marriage of politics and celebrity, one of the coolest “glossies” on the newsstands at the time—only to have it politely rejected. Downhearted and downcast at my next session, I indulged in some mawkish self-pity. I’d also brought in a dream from the night before: in it, a huge, whirling black hole had opened up.

On Synchronicity and Writing

  • Posted on: 28 July 2015
  • By: pythia

I was raised by a mother who was fond of advising me, when out shopping, that if a particular something—say a blouse, or once it was a mirror at a flea market—“spoke to me” then I should buy it. Worlds of meaning were enclosed within this simple phrase, worlds that came welling up out of her Argentine girlhood with all the force of a magical incantation. I loved my Latin-born mother for this; it was a side that made my American life just a bit different: more enchanted, more mysterious, more interesting.

Guardian of the Well

  • Posted on: 1 July 2015
  • By: pythia

Years ago, when I was struggling through a dry patch of writer’s fatigue after completing a particularly demanding feature story, my wise Jungian analyst remarked that “sometimes you have to take time to let the well fill up.” Like stones dropped into water, her words sank into my psyche and stayed there. Now and again, when I’m coming up empty with words or narrative, I practice waiting for the rain to fall and the well to fill.

About Pythia


Pythia Peay is an author, depth journalist, and speaker whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Washingtonian, Religion News Service, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. read more.

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​with Mark Matousek

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America On The Couch


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