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Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders
     

Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders

4.6 5
by Mary Pipher
 

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A New York Times Bestseller 

There are more older people in America today than ever before. They are our parents and grandparents, our aunts and uncles and in-laws. They are living longer, but in a culture that has come to worship youth--a culture in which families have dispersed, communities have broken down, and older people are isolated.

Overview

A New York Times Bestseller 

There are more older people in America today than ever before. They are our parents and grandparents, our aunts and uncles and in-laws. They are living longer, but in a culture that has come to worship youth--a culture in which families have dispersed, communities have broken down, and older people are isolated. Meanwhile, adults in two-career families are struggling to divide their time among their kids, their jobs, and their aging parents--searching for the right words to talk about loneliness, forgetfulness, or selling the house.

Another Country is a field guide to this rough terrain for a generation of baby boomers who are finding themselves unprepared to care for those who have always cared for them. Psychologist and bestselling writer Mary Pipher maps out strategies that help bridge the gaps that separate us from our elders. And with her inimitable combination of respect and realism, she offers us new ways of supporting each other--new ways of sharing our time, our energy, and our love.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Mary Pipher views aging through the lens of the anthropologist. She observes that to grow old for many people in today's fragmented, age-phobic, age-segregated America is to inhabit a foreign country, isolated and misunderstood.
USA Today
Another Country is a compassionate look at the disconnect between baby boomers and their aging parents or grandparents...a passionate plea to reconnect the 'old old' — those in their mid-70s and older — with the rest of society.
New York Times Book Review
There are more older people in America today than ever before. They are our parents and grandparents, our aunts and uncles and in-laws.They are living longer, but in a culture that has come to worship youth-a culture in which families have dispersed, communities have broken down, and older people are isolated. Meanwhile, adults in two-career families are struggling to divide their time among their kids, their jobs, and their aging parents-searching for the right words to talk about loneliness, forgetfulness, or selling the house.
Another Country is a field guide to this rough terrain for a generation of baby boomers who are finding themselves unprepared to care for those who have always cared for them. Psychologist and bestselling writer Mary Pipher maps out strategies that help bridge the gaps that separate us from our elders. And with her inimitable combination of respect and realism, she offers us new ways of supporting each other-new ways of sharing our time, our energy, and our love.
"In Another Country, Pipher observes that to grow old for many people in today's fragmented, age-phobic, age-segregated America is to inhabit a foreign country, isolated, disconnected and misunderstood.
Chicago Tribune
Pipher wrote Another Country to help Boomers like herself better understand their parents and grandparents and to glimpse what might await them in their old age.
People
Mary Pipher urges baby boomers to stay in tune with their elderly parents' needs...With average life expectancy now in the mid-70s and 2 million Americans turning 65 each year-a number that will skyrocket as the baby boomer generation ages-the stakes are raised for families and societies alike.
St. Petersburg Times
This is a book that thoughtful Boomers can embrace as their own...Another Country looks at issues like care-giving, death, generational relations and the resiliency many elders display in old age. It offers advice on improving our relationships with other generations and with understanding our own passing years.
Rocky Mountain News
The author of Reviving Ophelia unflinchingly takes us into the heart of this largely uncharted territory.
The Washington Post
Pipher explores how today's mobile, individualistic, media-drenched culture prevents so many dependent old people, and the relatives trying to do right by them, from getting what they need...her insights will help people of several generations.The Washington Post
Boston Globe
A field guide to old age, combining personal stories with social theory.
Christian Science Monitor
Dr. Pipher sees aging from a broader perspective. She emphasizes the need for the elderly to become elders-people who can help us find a deep structure for our communities and she makes a persuasive case for roots.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Rich in stories and full in details....For people wondering about their parents' or more poignantly, their own aging.
USAToday
Mary Pipher's phenomenal New York Times bestseller-a book about us and our parents...
Pipher ventures into communities and then returns to explain their truths and ways of being to the rest of us in clear, clean English. Totally accessible...Another Country is a compassionate...look at the disconnect between baby boomers and their aging parents or grandparents.
Minnesota Star Tribune
Mary Pipher comes across as neither saint nor scold.Another Country is not a how-to book, but a how-to-think book.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Older men and women, as well as their children and grandchildren, will find this well-written and sensitive investigation of aging both enlightening and engrossing. Because the death of her mother was so traumatic, Pipher, a psychologist and the author of Reviving Ophelia, was motivated to study the aging process in order to promote meaningful connections between the generations and more cultural support for pursuing them. She provides a wealth of anecdotal information about the problems of growing older, drawing on interviews and her own therapeutic work with predominately middle-class white and black Midwestern Americans in their 70s, 80s and 90s, as well as their children. Pipher contends that a variety of cultural trends are responsible for there being so many isolated old people today: a movement away from communal to individualistic ideals; the generation gap between baby boomers and their aging parents; the lack of organized support for the care of the elderly. As she relates the stories of those she has met and counseled, Pipher describes strategies for dealing with illness, physical decline, the death of a husband or wife and the emotional problems that arise for both the elderly and their families. She emphasizes the importance of intergenerational contacts, the benefit of giving older people freedom to make their own choices and her resolute belief that families can fortify the honesty and love they share through involvement in a dying parent's final months. One of the strengths of this excellent study is that Pipher includes examples of troubled as well as rewarding marital and parent/child relationships.
Library Journal
Through case studies of patients and acquaintances, psychologist Pipher examines the trials of aging in contemporary America--for all those involved. These miniature biographies, told with respect and empathy, reveal not only a complicated reality but diverse possibilities as we all age. (LJ 3/1/99) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
The New York Times
Mary Pipher views aging through the lens of the anthropologist. She observes that to grow old for many people in today's fragmented, age-phobic, age-segregated America is to inhabit a foreign country, isolated and misunderstood.
Kirkus Reviews
Blazing a trail into the emotional life of people who are growing old, the author hacks away at much of the debris-stereotypes, indifference, and fear-that separates younger generations from their elders, but doesn't always escape the grip of sentimentality.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573227841
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/2000
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
230,982
Product dimensions:
8.16(w) x 5.34(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

ANOTHER COUNTRY:
Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders

by Mary Pipher

 

INTRODUCTION

Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia, the phenomenal bestseller about the experiences of adolescent girls today, changed forever how we understand their world, and ours. Now, Mary Pipher turns to an equally troubled passage—the journey into old age. This is a book about our parents and grandparents, because they don't grow old in a vacuum. The process can be just as painful for us—daughters and sons, granddaughters and grandsons—as for them. The gradual turning of life's tide can take us by surprise, as we find ourselves unprepared to begin caring for those who have always cared for us. Writing from her experience as a therapist and from interviews with families and older people, Pipher offers us scenarios that bridge the generation gap. And in these poignant and hopeful stories of real children, adults, and elders we find the secrets to empathy. With her inimitable combination of respect and realism, Pipher gets inside the minds, hearts, and bodies of elder men and women. And we begin to understand fully that the landscape of age is truly that of another country. Today's world is vastly different from the one our parents grew up in. It's not the world in which helping aging parents meant stopping in at their house every day; in which children could learn about the richness of life from their grandparents; and in which grandparents and children were sustained and nourished by the unique bond between those on the opposite ends of a lifetime. We need new ways of supporting one another—new ways of sharing our time, our energy, and our love. In Another Country, Mary Pipher will show us how.

 

ABOUT MARY PIPHER

A clinical psychologist in private practice in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mary Pipher has been seeing families for over twenty years. She is also a visiting assistant professor at the University of Nebraska, and a commentator for Nebraska Public Radio. Dr. Pipher received her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969, and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nebraska in 1977. As an anthropology major in college, Dr. Pipher became aware of the impact of culture on the psychology of individuals. She wrote her previous book, Reviving Ophelia (Grosset/ Putnam, 1994), to help parents understand the situation young teenage girls are facing in our country today. Reviving Ophelia immediately struck a chord, and Dr. Pipher began receiving speaking requests from all over the country.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. We all get older. However, some people weather old age more gracefully than others. Why do you think this is? Do you think positive people remain positive as they age or do you think the losses of aging wear everyone down?

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"[Pipher] observes that to grow old for many people in today's fragmented, age-phobic, age-segregated America is to inhabit a foreign country, isolated, disconnected, and misunderstood."
The New York Times

“Pipher explores how today’s mobile, individualistic, media-drenched culture prevents so many dependent old people, and the relatives trying to do right by them, from getting what they need…Her insights will help people of several generations.”
The Washington Post

“Totally accessible…[Another Country] is a compassionate…look at the disconnect between baby boomers and their aging parents or grandparents.”
USA Today

“A field guide to old age, combining personal stories with social theory.”
The Boston Globe

“Passionate and eloquent…There’s a profound depth to this wise and moving book. Go read.”
Lincoln Star-Journal 

“Rich in stories and full in details.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Older men and women, as well as their children and grandchildren, will find this well-written and a sensitive investigation of aging…Enlightening and engrossing.”
Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Mary Pipher, Ph.D., is a psychologist and the author of nine books, including the New York Times bestsellers Reviving Ophelia, The Shelter of Each Other, and Another Country, as well as Seeking Peace and Writing to Change the World. She lives in Nebraska.

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Another Country: Navigating the Emotional Terrain of Our Elders 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book wanting to have a better understanding of what my parents might be feeling as they enter old age. Their health is starting to decline, yet they want desperately to maintain their independence. It seems irrational. Why not enjoy prepared meals and cleaning services of assisted living when you can afford it? Pipher¿s book answered my questions. It isn¿t fun to reach what she calls old-old age when health declines and one needs assistance with some of the daily routines. Yet our culture makes it difficult to ask for help and even harder to accept it. Pipher shows how the baby-boomer generation and their depression-survivor parents differ, and the 'great divide' is psychology not technology as one might expect. She addresses the realities of care for our elders and encourages family communication and geographical closeness. In the last chapters, she seems unrealistically optimistic about families caring for each other and a bit preachy on that idea. But she does give much useful information on understanding our elders and some good advice on communicating with them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is a wonderfully written book. It addresses understanding our elders and coordinating life styles of different generations, including the young-old and old-old with that of their children and grandchildren. Mary Pipher, psychologist with extensive experience in counseling, writes case histories and gives analysis to help solve concerns and problems for all generations. I found this book most valuable in understanding the attitudes of our society, my own attitudes, those of my parents and elderly relatives, as well as those of younger individuals, in relation to growing older and living with our elders in harmony.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe this is the first review of this wonderful book. It really does give a roadmap to adult children of aging parents about how to deal with the many difficult issues this life stage poses and what to expect. Those of us in our 40s and 50s (or, possibly, younger or older) who find our parents growing old and infirm before our eyes need the perspecive Pipher provides, citing many examples from her own practice, to get practical advice and to know that we are not alone.
NashaCT More than 1 year ago
Insightful-reminds and teaches to appreciate, love, cherish and take good care of our great people,our elderly...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago