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This collection of solicited essays by 32 women over fifty-- none remotely old--has both the good and bad aspects of Sunday brunch at a Park Avenue penthouse.. The contributors all write and talk well, are polite, sometimes amusing-- and careful not to make waves.
Any of these essays would have done nicely in a women's magazine. Not a one catches the throat, or opens the mind. Maybe thirty-year olds will find it of interest. This 80+ reader was bored.
Publishers Weekly, 2010-02-08 Writers, poets, actors, musicians, and a gynecologist are among the 32 contributors, almost all past 60, gathered by pianist Upham and freelance journalist Gravenson to explore the high and low points of aging. Among them are the unexpected pleasures of living alone; the loss of parents, friends, and spouses, of health, sexual power, and power in the workplace.The best piece by far is by Vivian Gornick, who articulates what it means-both positive and negative-for a middle-aged woman to lose her youthful beauty and become invisible to strangers. Other strong pieces are by Erica Jong, about the difficulty of letting go of her dying 92-year-old father, and Carolyn See, about the meaning of moving to different homes at various stages of her life. Less successful as literary efforts are Joan Nicholson's poem about coping with her emotionally disturbed adopted daughter after being diagnosed with a heart condition, and Jenny Allen's self-disgust and panic at the prospect of taking a new passport photo. Nonetheless, all these pieces showcase honest, heartfelt voices that should provide solidarity to other women pondering the passage of time. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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