cover image 50 Is the New 50: 10 Life Lessons for Women in Second Adulthood

50 Is the New 50: 10 Life Lessons for Women in Second Adulthood

Suzanne Braun Levine, Author . Viking $25.95 (214p) ISBN 978-0-670-02068-3

In a time when How Not to Look Old is a bestseller, and the women who came of age during the 1960s are now in their 60s, outspoken women's movement veteran Levine (Inventing the Rest of Our Lives ) advises women 50-plus to reject the desire to recapture youth and acknowledge their great good fortune in arriving at a point where they can creatively enhance the rest of their lives. Citing Madeleine L'Engle's observation, “the great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been,” Levine uses this book to air and explore her own feelings, and those of other women, about moving from the “Fuck-You Fifties” to a pleasanter, stress-defusing outlook characterized by a growing ability “to not take lesser things too seriously.” She offers a 10-step strategy for avoiding a descent into “The Fertile Void,” where late-midlife women find themselves in a state of confusion and lost self-confidence. The self-help lessons are nothing new: “be your age, not your stage”; take responsibility for your physical and emotional life; “accept that you are not who you were, only older”; use what you already know. Advertising-style jargon and nonsensical slogans get in the way of an otherwise promising positive message. (Apr.)