Lives of Our Own: Secrets of Salty Old Women

Caroline Bird, Author
Caroline Bird, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $22.95 (338p) ISBN 978-0-395-65234-3
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In Bird's call to arms, the proverbial ``little old lady in tennnis shoes'' will no longer be cartoon fodder, for ageism, insists the author, is as unacceptable as racism. Little Old Ladies (LOLs) are the fastest growing segment of the population: currently there are 31 million women age 55 and over, compared to 24 million men. In a polemic old women will find liberating, the jaunty 78-year-old Bird (Born Female) eschews euphemisms while presenting case histories intended to buttress her assertion that the natural place for the old is as functioning members of society. Working at salaried employment or as volunteers, starting their own businesses, returning to school or joining the Peace Corps, the elderly women met in these pages are not unusual, stresses Bird, but are among the legions who are creating new roles for themselves. Better educated, healthier, with more money and experiences than their mothers, today's old women have learned--and Bird also offers suggestions--how to adjust their lifestyles to compensate for physical decline. Like Betty Friedan's The Fountain of Age (1993), Bird's book is a consciousness-raiser. (May)
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