The Art of Growing Older: Writers on Living and Aging

Wayne C. Booth, Author
Wayne C. Booth, Author Poseidon Press $21.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-78192-7
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Culled chiefly from great literary works, this unusual compendium of prose and poetry excerpts highlights the physical and emotional aspects of aging. Although Booth ( The Rhetoric of Fiction ), age 71, includes such cheery banal verse as ``I Haven't Lost My Marbles Yet'' (Minnie Hodapp), he has tailored this collection to encompass the unpleasant truths about aging. William Butler Yeats's ``Sailing to Byzantium'' and excerpts from Simone de Beauvoir's The Coming of Age offer realistic assessments of the perils and possible consolations of aging. The thoughtful commentary with which Booth connects the selections reminds readers that physical decay and fear of death are conditions common to us all. This provocative collection braces rather than comforts. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Nov.)
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