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Thursday, June 16, 2016

A B&B Brief: “Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide”

Phillip Lopate, one of my favorite writers/essayists, reviews this book by Michael Kinsley in the April 24 issue of the New York Times.

I cannot improve on Lopate’s introductory remarks:

Longevity breeds literature. As people (including writers) live longer thanks to medical advances, we can expect many more books contemplating the vicissitudes of aging, illness and dying. These topics, previously thought uncommercial, not to mention unsexy, have been eloquently explored recently by Diana Athill (“Somewhere Towards the End”), Roger Angell (“This Old Man”) and Christopher Hitchens (“Mortality”), among others. Now that the baby boom generation, defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, “enter life’s last chapter,” Michael Kinsley writes, “there is going to be a tsunami of books about health issues by every boomer journalist who has any, which ultimately will be all of them.” Hoping to scoop the others, he has written “Old Age,” a short, witty “beginner’s guide,” with an appropriate blend of sincerity and opportunism.

I placed a hold on the book at the library exactly one month ago, and am advised as of today that I’m one of 22 patrons on 8 copies.  Lots of boomers and beyonders out there eager to read it, I guess. And perhaps more for fellowship than any real bit of guidance.

Read the full book review here:

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