cover image Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free

Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. FSG/Crichton, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-374-15119-5

Following The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50, Harvard education professor and MacArthur fellow Lawrence-Lightfoot has penned an examination of how people exit careers, countries, and even life. Believing that the small departures we make daily prepare us for the large ones—emigration, divorce, death—the author argues that each is a drama of ambivalence, decision-making, and epiphany. Lawrence-Lightfoot brilliantly creates intricate narratives of departures accomplished by 10 subjects—from, for example, Iran, the closet, bullying at school. Along the way, she only glances at important related topics, such as how immigrants are treated in America or the care of the terminally ill or dying. Her focus remains on exits that, she maintains, “are often ignored or invisible” in a culture that values embarking on new ventures and experiences. Agent: Ike Williams, Kneerim and Williams. (June)