The Face in the Mirror: Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age

The Face in the Mirror: Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age

by Victoria Zackheim
     
 

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When you were young and idealistic, who was the person you saw in the mirror? What were your expectations and those of your family and community? And now that you're older and have attained prominence, how do you feel about the person you have become and the direction your life has actually taken?
Malachy McCourt, Joyce Maynard, Alan Dershowitz, and Eileen Goudge

Overview

When you were young and idealistic, who was the person you saw in the mirror? What were your expectations and those of your family and community? And now that you're older and have attained prominence, how do you feel about the person you have become and the direction your life has actually taken?
Malachy McCourt, Joyce Maynard, Alan Dershowitz, and Eileen Goudge are among twenty celebrated authors in this unique collection, who tackle meaningful questions about the choices made, their achievements, and their disappointments. In their reflective essays, they explore the person they expected to become or perhaps desperately wanted to be (or feared they might be), and the person they are today.
How does all of this knowledge and insight affect their writing? Their responses, which range from surprising to heart-wrenching to comical to inspiring, reflect back on the reader who is left with the same question that these eminent writers ask themselves: "When I look in that mirror, who do I see?"
Beverly Donofrio, Sandra Gulland, Michael Bader, Aimee Liu, and Leon Whiteson are among the other contributors whose eloquent pieces are certain to captivate and make you see the world and yourself afresh.

Victoria Zackheim (San Francisco, CA) is the author of The Bone Weaver and editor of two other anthologies, The Other Woman: 21 Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly about Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal (GrandCentral) and For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth about Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance (Seal Press). Zackheim is story developer and writer of the documentary film Tracing Thalidomide: The Francis Kelsey Story, now in development with On the Road Productions, writer of More Than a Poet's Daughter: The Story of Ada Byron Lovelace (On the Road Productions), and coproducer and writer of the documentary When G.I. Joe Is a Muslim (On the Road Productions). Victoria teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and writes/records commentaries for The Mimi Geerges Show, XM-Satellite, and public radio.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Zackheim (instructor, Univ. of California-Los Angeles Extension Writers' Program; The Bone Weaver) has assembled essays from 20 authors who reflect on their advancing age and compare how they turned out with who they thought they would become when they were much younger. Among the relatively well-known essayists featured here are Malachy McCourt, Joyce Maynard, Alan Dershowitz, Beverly Donofrio, Eileen Goudge, and editor Zackheim; included are dual photos of each in youth and from the present. The authors reveal their highly personal, frank thoughts on their desire to achieve success, obstacles that hindered their life journey, their accomplishments and failures, the state of their families, how some ended up replicating their parents, and on meeting personal goals and living with unfulfilled dreams. A common thread is the writers' expressions of a sense of completeness, of becoming whole, and of learning how to live within themselves and be comfortable with whom they have become. One of the more remarkable stories is Donofrio's, sharing her life's experiences as she became a teenage mother, then a convicted felon, and later a college student and a notable author, now living in a monastery in the Colorado mountains. VERDICT Aging boomers will likely relate to these sensitive, refreshingly honest musings that tackle universal questions about the choices faced in life and the critical self examination that comes with age. Recommended.—Dale Farris, Groves, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781615928835
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

Sandra Benitez
"Victoria Zackheim has gathered a mix of excellent writers who, having looked in the mirror and seen themselves truthfully, can offer the rest of us a glimpse of the glories and travails that accompany the journey of growing older. Reading these stories is at once an entertaining, sobering and enlightening experience."--(Sandra Benitez, author of bag lady: A Memoir, Night of the Radishes, The Weight of All Things)
Margo Jefferson
"We all know that looking back can turn you into stone or leave you drowning in your own tears. These writers give us so much more; their complex memories and feelings make the past, as rich and varied, as full of possibility, as any future.
How moving to watch each one, as Richard Toon writes, 'think about the artifacts and actions that mirror my life.' How exhilarating to know, in Laurie Stone's words, that 'we are the only animals who can imagine later, who can fill in the blanks, who can see the nothing that is there, who can see ourselves as vanished as a magician's rabbit.' And who can record it all."--(Margo Jefferson, author of On Michael Jackson)

Meet the Author

Victoria Zackheim (San Francisco, CA) is the author of The Bone Weaver and editor of two other anthologies, The Other Woman: 21 Wives, Lovers, and Others Talk Openly about Sex, Deception, Love, and Betrayal (GrandCentral) and For Keeps: Women Tell the Truth about Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance (Seal Press). Zackheim is story developer and writer of the documentary film Tracing Thalidomide: The Francis Kelsey Story, now in development with On the Road Productions, writer of More Than a Poet’s Daughter: The Story of Ada Byron Lovelace (On the Road Productions), and coproducer and writer of the documentary When G.I. Joe Is a Muslim (On the Road Productions). Victoria teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and writes/records commentaries for The Mimi Geerges Show, XM-Satellite, and public radio.

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