Getting Over Getting Older: An Intimate Journey

Getting Over Getting Older: An Intimate Journey

by Letty C. Cottin Pogrebin, Little Brown
     
 

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As 77 million baby boomers begin turning fifty, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a respected social critic and award-winning writer, tells the truth about that uncharted period when time speeds up and the body slows down - when you are no longer young but far from old, and you refuse to believe that you are over the hill. Pogrebin's journey out of her forties and into her… See more details below

Overview

As 77 million baby boomers begin turning fifty, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, a respected social critic and award-winning writer, tells the truth about that uncharted period when time speeds up and the body slows down - when you are no longer young but far from old, and you refuse to believe that you are over the hill. Pogrebin's journey out of her forties and into her fifties becomes a user-friendly map of this challenging terrain as she demystifies the fears most people can't face and celebrates the possibilities most people can't see. Every woman who is facing fifty or has already moved past it will be grateful for this warm, witty exploration of the indignities and epiphanies of midlife, large and small. Suddenly waking up in the middle of the night, for instance, with a non-negotiable need to go to the bathroom. Immediately. Having to let the waistband out on every skirt you own. Discovering one day that you can no longer read the phone book. Finally figuring out what you want to be when you grow up. Realizing that not everyone you love will be here forever and neither will you. Cherishing the present as never before.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Pogrebin (Deborah, Golda and Me), a founding editor of Ms magazine, is the latest baby boomer to weigh in with her thoughts on what turning 50 means to a woman. In anecdotes that range from humorous and insightful to occasionally tedious and self-indulgent, drawn from her own experiences and from the lives of friends, the 55-year-old Pogrebin ruminates on the pros and cons of aging. According to the author, the loss of a youthful appearance and a decrease in energy are offset by the freedom that comes when child-rearing ends. Age, she says, can also bring a heightened sense of living in the now. Of particular interest is an account of Pogrebin's emotional turmoil when she had to have a needle biopsy after a suspicious mammogram reading. Although much of her advice for coping with midlife, such as the benefits of discovering solitude, is useful, certain suggestions like living well and traveling are available only to the financially secure.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pogrebin (Deborah, Golda and Me), a founding editor of Ms magazine, is the latest baby boomer to weigh in with her thoughts on what turning 50 means to a woman. In anecdotes that range from humorous and insightful to occasionally tedious and self-indulgent, drawn from her own experiences and from the lives of friends, the 55-year-old Pogrebin ruminates on the pros and cons of aging. According to the author, the loss of a youthful appearance and a decrease in energy are offset by the freedom that comes when child-rearing ends. Age, she says, can also bring a heightened sense of living in the now. Of particular interest is an account of Pogrebin's emotional turmoil when she had to have a needle biopsy after a suspicious mammogram reading. Although much of her advice for coping with midlife, such as the benefits of discovering solitude, is useful, certain suggestions like living well and traveling are available only to the financially secure. Major ad/promo. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
From weight gain to incontinence, a founding editor of Ms. magazine discusses fiftysomething anxieties.
Mary Carroll
Like Sheehy, Greer, and Steinem, Pogrebin has been a pathfinder for female war babies and baby boomers. As a magazine writer, a founding editor of "Ms.", and author of seven other books (most recently "Deborah, Golda, and Me" [1991]), she's shared so much with readers that her examination of aging from the "inside out" delivers sometimes uncomfortable truths in a very familiar voice. "Since I turned fifty," Pogrebin declares, "two things have become crystal clear to me: first, the American obsession with age deflects people, especially women, from the truth of the human condition, which is the diminishment of time and the inevitability of our own death. Second, it is the time/mortality epiphany that lies at the very heart of our fear of aging." It is our mix of obsession and denial Pogrebin aims to dispel, urging readers to age mindfully, rejoice in challenges and surprises, and notice life's precious details. Blending anecdotes and analysis, she describes how it feels to age; takes on concerns about appearance, health, sex, and menopause; and examines relationships--and life and death--from the vantage point of middle age. Based in feminism but often disagreeing with other feminist works, Pogrebin's lively meditation on later life's realities will both enlighten and encourage readers.
Kirkus Reviews
Yet another feminist offers an up-close and personal examination of trekking into middle age.

Pogrebin's (Deborah, Golda, and Me, 1991, etc.) friends groaned when they heard she was writing about aging; how depressing, they thought. Readers may groan as well at the prospect of another paean to growing older. But Pogrebin, now 56, brings some fresh insights to the process, particularly in a discussion of what time means once you're over the hill. Pogrebin places herself in that small cohort born between 1932, when FDR was elected president, and 1945, the end of WW II. She labels this group "the Roosevelt babies," calling them (and herself) "unself-conscious trailblazers," mapping the territory of longevity for the Boomers. "Time is all there is," she says, so don't hoard it or waste it trying to recapture youth. "Use it or lose it" is but one piece of T-shirt advice that she passes along, in company with poetry and observations from May Sarton, Simone de Beauvoir, and feminist peers from her early years at Ms. magazine. Often setting herself apart from what she views as the unrelentingly positive feminist party line on aging, she hails the value of nostalgia in a section on memory and praises diet, exercise, and hormone replacement therapy in chapters on the aging body. She also speculates on whether the public discouse on menopause will stigmatize older women as the mysteries of menstruation and PMS once kept young women in their place. In the end, Pogrebin is reconciled to the idea of dying, if not to the fact of death.

While there is undeniably much that is thoughtful and useful in this volume, it's often buried in anecdotes about family and friends less interesting to general readers than to the author.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316712637
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
10/19/1991
Pages:
340
Sales rank:
1,411,163
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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