How to Mentor-And Find Life's Purpose
By Eric Liu
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780375761027, 220pp.
Publication Date: November 28, 2006
As he entered fatherhood and a phase of changing ambitions, Eric Liu set out in search of great mentors. He found much more. He encountered people from all walks of life, from all across the country, with something powerful to pass on about how to change lives. Among those Liu portrays in vivid and fascinating narratives are one of Hollywood's finest acting teachers, who turns a middling young actress into a project for transformation; an esteemed major league pitching coach, haunted by the players he's let down; a rising executive whose eye for untapped talent allows her to rescue a floundering employee; a master clown whose workshop teaches a husband-and-wife team to revamp their relationship, onstage and off; a high school debate coach whose protegee falters at the pinnacle, and thus finds triumph; and a gangland priest who has saved many and yet still must confront the limits of his power to heal.
In these pages are remarkable stories of apprenticeship of failure, hope, and discovery. These are stories of men and women who learned to hear the sound of other people's voices and, in so doing, found their own way to a better and fuller life. As Eric Liu reminds us, these are our stories. Lyrical and accessible, Guiding Lights is a course to benefit any reader, a superb work of narrative nonfiction, and an exciting departure for its accomplished author. This book will change how we live, lead, learn, and love. Pass it on.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Through inspiring examples and luminous prose, Eric Liu reminds us that we have the capacity to be both teachers and students throughout our lives. This book distills the essence of learning and offers the prospect of self -discovery to all who listen to its GUIDING LIGHTS.
“Reading this book, I was reminded once again that there is no higher calling than teaching, that each of us is capable of fulfilling that calling every day of our lives, and that when we are not the teacher we are the student. Eric Liu brings us back to the first lesson of civilization: Life is reciprocity.”
"Rich with the kind of insight that can only be earned through beautiful storytelling. This is unique journalism, brave in its willingness to be intimate. Eric Liu is a writer with chops and a writer who cares."