Lives of Lesbian Elders: Looking Back, Looking Forward illuminates the hopes, fears, issues, and concerns of gay women as they grow older. Based on interviews with 62 lesbians ranging in age from 55 to 95, this very special book provides a historical account of the shared experiences of the lesbian community that is so often invisible or ignored in contemporary society. The book gives voice to their thoughts and feelings on a wide range of issues, including coming out, identity and the meaning of life, the role of family and personal relationships, work and retirement, adversity, and individual sources of strength and resilience.
This work is structured around lesbian issues of coming out, identity, family, work, aging, adversity, and resiliency. Clunis (The Lesbian Parenting Book: A Guide to Creating Families and Raising Children) and her coauthors interviewed 62 lesbians ages 55 to 95 living in California, Oregon, and Washington. The authors identify themes from their interviews and present verbatim excerpts from the interviewees to illustrate them. Inevitably, some of the women are more articulate than others, and jumping from one respondent to another makes the prose a bit disjointed. The reader is, however, given intimate glimpses into the lives of these women as they discuss struggle and triumph in their personal and professional lives. Mindful that we are all shaped by the times in which we live, the authors open with a brief survey of how homosexuality has been perceived throughout history, and they close with a chronology of significant events. These interviews demonstrate experiences shared by all women, as well as those unique to lesbians. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-Debra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.