Are You Old Enough to Read This Book?: Reflections on Midlife

Deborah H. DeFord, Editor, Linda Ellerbee, Introduction by
Deborah H. DeFord, Editor, Linda Ellerbee, Introduction by Reader's Digest Association $21 (192p) ISBN 978-0-89577-978-6
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This collection of essays, sidebars, quizzes for self-analysis and all manner of illustrations covers six main areas: age and aging, marriage, parents and children, friends and lovers, values, work and new challenges. Each section includes exceptional offerings. New Choices editor Deborah Mason discusses women over 50 who have had affairs; Susan Cheever interviews Arthur Miller on the meaning of family; Bel Kaufman contributes a touching piece on friendship; John Updike presents his views on mid-life with his customary smoothness. The finest essays are reserved for the conclusion, including Budd Schulberg's account of his struggle to preserve his idealism and Harry Stein's interview with the late William Fulbright on American parochialism. There are remarkably few weak entries, one being an inane piece by Peggy Noonan criticizing her parents' generation for not being introspective enough, although she concedes that coping with the Depression and WWII may have left little time for introspection. (Jan.)
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