As We Are Now

( 3 )

Overview

"I am not mad, only old. . . . I am in a concentration camp for the old."
So begins May Sarton's short, swift blow of a novel, about the powerlessness of the old and the rage it can bring. As We Are Now tells the story of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher, mentally strong but physically frail, who has been moved by relatives into a "home." Subjected to subtle humiliations and petty cruelties, sustained for too short a time by the love of another person, she fights back with all she has, and in...

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As We Are Now: A Novel

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Overview

"I am not mad, only old. . . . I am in a concentration camp for the old."
So begins May Sarton's short, swift blow of a novel, about the powerlessness of the old and the rage it can bring. As We Are Now tells the story of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher, mentally strong but physically frail, who has been moved by relatives into a "home." Subjected to subtle humiliations and petty cruelties, sustained for too short a time by the love of another person, she fights back with all she has, and in a powerful climax wins a terrible victory.

A novel in the form of a diary, this story tells of Caroline Spencer, a 76-year-old retired schoolteacher who has suffered a heart attack and been deposited by relatives in an old people's home. Subjected to subtle humiliations and petty cruelties, she fights back with all she has, and in a powerful climax wins a terrible victory. "I shared the anger and the righteous indignation which I felt behind every line."--Madeleine L'Engle. Reissue.

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Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
“May Sarton has never been better than she is in this beautiful, harrowing novel about being old, unwanted, yet refusing to give up. . . . The problems of old age have been detailed by sociologists but only a novel as searching and deeply felt as this one can bring them so close to the bone.”— Margaret Manning
New York Times Book Review
“A brief, strong statement. . . . A convincing record of evil done and good intentions gone astray. . . . A powerful indictment.”— Ellen Douglas
Margaret Manning - Boston Globe
“May Sarton has never been better than she is in this beautiful, harrowing novel about being old, unwanted, yet refusing to give up. . . . The problems of old age have been detailed by sociologists but only a novel as searching and deeply felt as this one can bring them so close to the bone.”
Ellen Douglas - New York Times Book Review
“A brief, strong statement. . . . A convincing record of evil done and good intentions gone astray. . . . A powerful indictment.”
Boston Globe - Margaret Manning
“May Sarton has never been better than she is in this beautiful, harrowing novel about being old, unwanted, yet refusing to give up. . . . The problems of old age have been detailed by sociologists but only a novel as searching and deeply felt as this one can bring them so close to the bone.”
New York Times Book Review - Ellen Douglas
“A brief, strong statement. . . . A convincing record of evil done and good intentions gone astray. . . . A powerful indictment.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393309577
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 134
  • Sales rank: 402,937
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

May Sarton (1912-1995) was an acclaimed poet, novelist, and memoirist.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2004

    A book for all Women

    May Sarton paints a painfully vivid picture of an older woman with a chronic condition aging alone in environmental and social poverty. Roughly fourty-two percent of women aged 65 and older in this country today are living below 125 percent of the poverty level. May Sarton's Caroline Spencer was the reality for many older women in this country in 1976, today, and will be our future if we do not advocate for women to acknowledge the cost of aging, mentally, physically, and financially, begin to prepare for old age early and advocate for social change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2000

    A Must Read for Caregivers of the Elderly

    This book touched my heart. My mother recently died, and although she lived me during her last years, this book brought a shocking awareness of how she must have felt at times. Moved from her own home into mine, where she felt she had to fit in and do things 'my way' versus her own. I'm sure there were many times she felt as though she didn't belong. I wish that I had read this book long ago. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is providing care to an elderly person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

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