Mary Climbs In: The Journeys of Bruce Springsteen's Women Fans (Hardcover)
Bruce Springsteen has been cherished by his fans for decades, from his early days playing high school gymnasiums through globally successful albums and huge stadium shows to solo performances in intimate theaters. As his long and illustrious career has evolved, the legendary devotion of his fans has remained a constant. Springsteen fans have become worthy of study in their own right, with books, memoirs, and even a movie documenting their passion and perspectives. But his fans are not monolithic, and surprisingly little attention has been paid to why so many women from across the world adore The Boss.
Mary Climbs In illuminates this once overlooked but increasingly important and multi-faceted conversation about female audiences for Springsteen’s music. Drawing on unique surveys of fans themselves, the study offers insight into women’s experiences in their own voices. Authors Lorraine Mangione and Donna Luff explore the depth of women fans’ connection to Springsteen and the profound ways this connection has shaped their lives. Reflections from fans enliven each page as readers journey through the camaraderie and joy of concerts, the sorrow and confusion of personal loss and suffering, the love and closeness of community, and the search for meaning and for the self. Viewed through a psychological lens, women fans’ relationship with Springsteen is revealed in all its complexity as never before. Mary Climbs In is an important interdisciplinary contribution to the growing field of Springsteen studies and a must-read for any fan.
About the Author
LORRAINE MANGIONE, professor of clinical psychology at Antioch University New England, focuses on women in many aspects of who they are; creativity and artistry; group therapy; spirituality and religion; aging, loss, and grief; Italian American culture; mentoring; and #MeToo in her clinical and research work and publications. She is the coauthor of Daughters, Dads, and the Path through Grief: Tales from Italian America, as well as articles integrating Springsteen and psychology.
DONNA LUFF is a British-born writer and sociologist, an educator at Boston Children’s Hospital, and faculty at Harvard Medical School. She has published on gender, sexuality, and health care innovations and taught widely on qualitative research practice. She is author of several personal essays, as well as articles on Springsteen, and coauthor of a prior chapter on Springsteen’s women fans.
"[Bruce Springsteen is] seen as one of the quintessential writers of male experience, but as this new book explores, his resonance with female listeners is just as complex."
— Herpreet Kaur Grewal
“I recommend Mary Climbs In to Springsteen fans and music enthusiasts without hesitation; it gets you excited about music and the power of its influence. In a world of competing obligations, putting aside enjoyable activities is easy. Mary Climbs In offers readers an indulgent opportunity to embrace what they love without reservation.”
— Psychology of Women Quarterly
“Mary Climbs In offers an important entry in rock music scholarship. In addition to providing a contribution to the burgeoning arena of fan studies, Mangione and Luff afford readers a vital window into the female experience vis-à-vis rock ‘n’ roll.”
— Kenneth Womack
"This project is an important interdisciplinary contribution to what is now a bona fide discourse of Springsteen studies. It takes a uniquely empirical approach to the subject, and illuminates a once overlooked, but now increasingly important and multifaceted conversation about female audiences for Springsteen’s music."
— Jim Cullen
"In their book Mary Climbs In, Lorraine Mangione and Donna Luff – a professor of psychology and a sociologist, respectively – make the case that Springsteen’s music has deep appeal to women, speaking to them on a number of levels and about different subjects...The overall devotion of Springsteen’s fans is also worth noting...[, and] many of the first-person testimonials from fans in Mary Climbs In speak to the depth of this connection."
— Steve Pfarrer