Spotlight: Everything is copy


Elizabeth Galecke

by Mimi Montgomery

As the wise writer Nora Ephron once said: “Everything is copy.”

Dr. Lucy Daniels clearly agrees. A prolific writer and psychoanalytic psychologist, she frequently draws on mental struggles and life’s obstacles as the inspiration for her work. In the confrontation of these issues, Daniels finds freedom in creative expression: She frequently draws parallels between the surrounding physical world and the innermost workings of the subconscious.

This discovery is apparent in her latest book, Maritime Magistery, a collection of stories set on the coast of North Carolina and focused on the relationship between the environment and the mind. Like nature, Daniels posits, the mind has a cyclical path often affected by outside elements, but it remains resilient.

Daniels knows something about resilience. She wrote her first novel, Caleb My Son, in 1956 while hospitalized for anorexia; it earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship at 22, making her the youngest person to receive the honor. As an adult mother of four, she attended UNC-Chapel Hill and became a psychologist, later founding the Lucy Daniels Foundation and the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood, which both focus on mental health education, outreach, and research. And, throughout it all, she found the time to write several more books and short stories.

With so much insight into and experience with the human psyche, it’s no surprise that Daniels is an excellent storyteller. “Each story in this collection carries the reader to places so vividly described, it’s hard to believe that you have not really been at the beach,” says New York University School of Medicine faculty member Laurie Wilson, of Maritime Magistery. “By drawing vivid characters motivated by their hopes and fears, Daniels invites readers to better understand the dynamics of their own family relations, loves, and losses.”

Daniels’ book is available at Quail Ridge Books.


Quail Ridge Books: 4381-105 Lassiter at North Hills Ave.;