Waiting for My Cats to D

Stacy Horn, Author
Stacy Horn, Author St. Martin's Press $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-312-26692-9
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4668-1544-5
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-312-28744-3
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Horn, a cyber-pioneer who launched Echo, a successful Gotham-based online community in the early '90s (and documented it in 1997's Cyberville), assembles haphazard thoughts on her samba drumming career, her diabetic cats, death and the single life, in this morbid but engagingly quirky memoir. Although she has no reason to believe that her own mortality is imminent (she's in her early 40s), Horn dives into the subject with all the zeal of a Baptist preacher. She discusses it online with peers and on the phone with elderly people, analyzes her cats' reactions to aging, and even explores the mystery of a ghost who supposedly haunts her apartment. That zeal is what holds this otherwise confused approach to understanding midlife together. In some chapters, Horn discusses particular aspects of her life and their deeper meaning, from what she presents as her hopelessly pudgy stomach to the fate of her business. In other sections--the book's tightest--she interviews senior citizens in an attempt to prove that wisdom comes with old age. However, what she finds through many of her conversations is that those who've lived a great deal of life often have no special secrets or knowledge to impart. The polls she conducts among Net-savvy New Yorkers on Echo add to her research and demonstrate that she's not alone in wistfully envying a 24-year-old's body. Although this work lacks focus and a clear thesis, it's a remarkably candid account of one woman's acceptance of aging, piqued with heartening moments of exhilaration. (Feb.)
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