An earnest and engaging exploration of aging.



In this memoir about identity and the aging process, a retired professor contemplates different facets of her life.

At the age of 64, Juhasz (A Desire for Women, 2003, etc.) retired as a professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and she suddenly had time to revive old passions, like acting. But when acute arthritis and other physical problems put an end to her stage performances, she realized she was utterly unprepared for the realities of aging. The author found it hard to adjust to a time of life when she was no longer middle-aged but not yet old (she calls it “senior space”). Without the stimulation of daily schedules and interactions with colleagues, she was anxious and depressed. Fortunately, she was able to find new interests, such as learning to sing. Six years after retirement, the insecure feelings remained, but dissecting her past and present helped Juhasz to better understand various aspects of herself. In this cleareyed analysis, she intertwines stories from her life—her youthful aspirations, her family, her search for true love, and her work as an academic—with reflections on being a woman and aging. Though her prose is impeccable, a few of her childhood anecdotes can be tediously familiar. For example, when she was an awkward teenager, she had a fight with her mother and wrote about it in her journal. She uses the journal entry to examine her relationship with her mom. In another eye-glazing account she talks about the angst of not feeling pretty in high school. Her more compelling stories occur later, such as her discovery of feminism in 1971. Likewise, the pain she felt while searching for love and coming to terms with her lesbian identity is memorably candid. And her assessment of what it means to be a grandmother is both tender and strong: “I am a caregiver: to my grandchild, my daughter, and her family. What I did felt right, and far from questioning it, I was exalted by it.”

An earnest and engaging exploration of aging.     

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-979008-62-4

Page Count: 258

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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