BEING SEVENTY: The Measure of a Year by Elizabeth Gray Vining

BEING SEVENTY: The Measure of a Year

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In their thirties, Vining and a friend classified old ladies into four categories--Whiny, Bossy, Fussy, and Batty--but the author of Windows for the Crown Prince and Adam of the Road fits none of the above. This gently unwinding journal of her seventieth year, October 1972-73, finds her still on the move (a P.E.N. trip to Japan, a stay in a Georgia writers' colony) yet contemplating a retirement community: ""Once in, will one feel trapped?"" These are articulate but essentially unremarkable reflections on Watergate, Quaker themes, aging (""I don't fear death, but I do fear a protracted and painful dying""), and tidy references to a Whittier biography in progress, old friends and enduring Japanese affiliations, a beloved husband dead nearly 40 years, Philadelphia landmarks, and dorm conventions at Bryn Mawr today: ""the triumph of the selfish over the unselfish."" The chill of meeting a local bookstore owner ignorant of her name and work contrasts with the arrival, on her seventy-first birthday, of an editorial ""splendid job"" for the Whittier manuscript. A Quiet Pilgrimage for her faithful readers.

Pub Date: June 16th, 1978
Publisher: Viking