On Women Turning 60: Embracing the Age of Fulfillment

On Women Turning 60: Embracing the Age of Fulfillment

by Cathleen Rountree
     
 

In the third book of her popular "Decade Series," Cathleen Rountree interviews twenty inspiring, vibrant, and energetic women who discuss their thoughts and feelings about having passed their 60th birthday.
        
The women featured in these pages show us how they are working against stereotypes and reaching beyond…  See more details below

Overview

In the third book of her popular "Decade Series," Cathleen Rountree interviews twenty inspiring, vibrant, and energetic women who discuss their thoughts and feelings about having passed their 60th birthday.
        
The women featured in these pages show us how they are working against stereotypes and reaching beyond common assumptions about physical, mental, and social limitations on their lives due to their age. For this group portrait of feminine potential and achievement, Ms. Rountree has gathered a diverse roster of women, including Ann Richards; Jane Goodall; Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary; and Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf, a Native American and codirector of the Center for Grandfather Coyote. They are painters, politicians, writers, activists, performers, psychologists, and nuns. Their faces are those of our mothers, our sisters, our grandmothers, our friends, and ourselves. Whether these women are confronting new challenges for the first time in their lives, or reaping the rewards of an enriching life, each one's story is a unique but universal testament to the strength of the human spirit.
        
On Women Turning 60 is essential reading for older women and their younger sisters seeking strong female role models. This engaging book shows all of us—no matter what age—how to face each day with optimism and teaches us that growing older is a journey of empowerment and self-discovery.

INCLUDED AMONG THE TWENTY EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN INTERVIEWED IN THIS BOOK ARE:

Oh Shinnah FastWol                        Jane Goodall
Riane Eisler                                 Elayne Jones
Ursula K. Le Guin                         Marion Woodman
Matilda Cuomo                         Nellie Wong
Fay Weldon                                 Maureen Stapleton

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rountree (On Women Turning 50) continues her interesting series by interviewing 20 articulate and inspiring women aged 60 and over. While several of them have high profiles (Rose Styron, Mary Travers), others are lesser known. The author has focused on diversity, including women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, such as Elayne Jones, an African American tympanist for the San Francisco Opera, and Nellie Wong, a Chinese American poet. Rountree allows her subjects to reflect, in their own words, on how they are dealing with aging and the satisfactions they have experienced in love and work. British novelist Fay Weldon provides a lighthearted but thoughtful look at the pleasures of loving a younger man"There is no contradiction between being mature and romantic"and Argentinean dancer Luly Santangelo discusses her long career. Although the women interviewed lead very different lives, they have in common a strong desire to live fully. As actress Maureen Stapleton puts it, "I think you oughta hang in for as long as you can." Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Turning the age of 60 is a defining moment in many women's lives. Free of menopause and not yet to the age of cronehood, women in their sixties are more confident, able to live in and appreciate the present, and less vain. Rountree (On Women Turning Fifty, HarperSanFrancisco, 1994. pap.), a leader of workshops for women in mid-life, presents oral histories of 20 diverse women. She talks with the famous (such as Mary Travers, Jane Goodall, and Ann Richards) and the "famous" within their profession (Elayne Jones, Matilda Cuomo, and Lucy Santagelo). While the volume is ethnically diverse, it includes few ordinary womenhousewives, laborers, and noncareer women. Still, it is fascinating to listen to these women's stories and their perspectives on life. Recommended for all public libraries and oral history collections.Jenny L. Presnell, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, Ohio
Kirkus Reviews
A delightful series of interviews with accomplished women in their 60s that celebrates both the pain and the newfound freedom of growing older.

Rountree (The Heart of Marriage, not reviewed, etc.) does not draw on the usual cast of feminist icons. The subjects constitute a cross-section of women, including politicians, performers, artists, writers, activists, and even one who styles herself a "woman warrior." Some are relatively well-known—folk singer Mary Travers, author Ursula K. LeGuin, primatologist Jane Goodall; others are accomplished in other spheres—poet Nellie Wong, tympanist Elayne Jones, quilter Virginia Harris. There are 20 women in all, each one briefly introduced with a picture and a bio, followed by a first-person narrative reflecting on the meanings of turning 60. The bios verge on the gushing sometimes, but Rountree is a skilled interviewer and leads her subjects to relect honestly and often eloquently about the decade that Carolyn G. Heilbrun, who wrote the foreword to this volume, has called a "gift." Their voices are distinctive—Matilda Cuomo speaks in the carefully framed sentences of a longtime political wife as she outlines her plans for a national mentoring program for young people, while Oh Shinnah Fast Wolf, the warrior, offers rich stories about her "messy" life. The women sometimes disagree about fundamentals. "Grow" older rather than "get" older is one piece of advice novelist Fay Weldon crankily contradicts: "Stop trying to grow . . . [have] a little less passion for self-improvement or perfection." What they frequently have in common is a drive to stay healthy (many have no health insurance) and a take-it-or-leave-it attitude about sex and romance.

Inspiring, yes, and as full of vivid anecdotes as a gossipy letter from an old friend.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517707579
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/16/1997
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
7.62(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.98(d)

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