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Women & Aging

As I age myself, I am drawn to books by and about women and aging. Here are a few that I recommend to others. My particular favorites are starred.  Titles are linked to my reviews.


*The Measure of My Days, by Florida Scott-Maxwell. A woman in her 80s reflects honestly and hopefully on her inner and outer worlds and on what it means to age.

*Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir, by Penelope Lively. Thoughts about aging, memory, and dealing with the past by an eighty-year-old author.

*Through the Dark Forest, by Carolyn Conger. Suggestions for women and men approaching death to consider their own past and make peace with it. The only book of this type I have found valuable.

*Tears in the Grass, by Lynda A. Archer. A compelling story about a 90-year old Cree woman living on the plains of Canada who enlists her daughter and granddaughter to help her find the child who was taken from her at birth after she was raped attending a reservation school.

*The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende. A novel by an accomplished author about an elderly woman in an idealized retirement community and those around her. May be shocking to some readers.

*All Passion Spent, by Vita Sackville-West. A description of an aristocratic English woman in her 80s who steps out of established role when her husband dies. Set in the early 20th century and written by a young woman.

Poppy’s Progress and Poppy’s Return, by Pat Rossier. Two novels about a New Zealand lesbian about 50 caring for her dying father and making decisions about how she will age.

Greenbanks, by Dorothy Whipple. A gentle, domestic story of a woman in her 50s and 69s watching and helping her adult children.

Boundaries, by Elizabeth Nunez. A semi-autobiographical novel by a Caribbean American author about her relationship with her aging parents.

Moon Tiger, by Penelope Lively. A poignant novel about an elderly woman reviewing her life and her lover in Cairo during World War II.

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