Aging as Told by 3 Fabulous Female Authors

International Women’s Day, held annually on March 8, is a worldwide event that calls for gender equality while celebrating women’s achievements, from the political to the social to the arts.

Today, join us in honoring women in literature. We’ve chosen our three favorite female authors who confront the topic of aging gracefully (especially as a woman) in their work. The selections range from humorous memoirs to contemplative novels, and we recommend looking into some of Suzanne Somers’ best-sellers if you’re interested in self-help and healthy living.

 

Click the links to read Amazon customer reviews and order yourself one of these easy weekend reads.

 

Nora Ephron

Academy Award for Best Writing nominee for Silkwood (1983), When Harry Met Sally… (1989), and Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

 

I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections

“The power of these essays often comes from a voice clearly looking back at a riveting life with a clear-eyed wisdom and, at times, twinges of regret.” Salon

 

“A slim, candid, and always witty package of Ephron’s insights, written and bound before they slip her mind forever.” —Elle

 

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

“Ephron’s laugh-out-loud collection tells the truth about aging–it’s not fun–and ‘she does it with humor and satire and perspective,’ says [Roxanne Coady of R. J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn.]. With blithe charm, Ephron exposes all the vain ploys that she–and we–would rather not admit we use to stave off another telltale wrinkle or gray hair. Read her book as an antidote to despair.” —U.S. News & World Report

 

Dame Penelope Lively

Awarded with DBE and a member of FRSL

How It All Began: A Novel

“More stylish than many writers half her age . . . Lively knows a thing of two about storytelling. Her veteran understanding of the function of narrative in our lives is impressive but lightly worn. . . Her candour is refreshing, and reminds us that you don’t have to lie to yourself to live life finely until the very end.”  The Times (London)

 

“Lively’s novel is skillfully constructed, with a thoroughly engaging plot. It also has much to say about the role of chance in human affairs, the aging process and the importance of memories.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 

Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir

“Buoyant and propulsive . . . Dancing Fish and Ammonites is about growing old, about memory and history, about reading and writing . . . Lively communicates ideas and experiences with flashes of narrative color: the tins of water in which the feet of her crib stood in childhood, to spare her from Cairo’s ants; the layout of a beloved garden; the sight of women in felt hats and gloves as they walked past the bombed-out rubble of wartime Britain.” —The New York Times Book Review

 

“Funny, smart and poignant . . . Admirers of Penelope Lively’s many fine novels will find the same lucid intelligence at work in her elegantly written ‘view from old age.’ . . . Memory, history, archaeology, paleontology—for Penelope Lively, they are all part of our individual and collective effort to retrieve lost time. She chronicles her personal engagement in that quest with wit and rue.” —Los Angeles Times

 

Diana Athill

Awarded with OBE

 

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

“At ninety-one, she offers a spry dispatch on the condition of being elderly, having realized that copious literature describes the experience of youth, “but there is not much on record about falling away.” Her perspective is both remorseless and tender as she considers the waning of her sexual desire, the sharpening of her atheist resolve, her increasing preference for nonfiction rather than novels . . . and the truth that, even in her advanced state, much of her time is taken up with caring for those still older. The achievement of Athill’s work is its refusal to reduce the specificities of her captivating life to homilies about wisdom.” —The New Yorker

 

Alive, Alive Oh!: And Other Things That Matter

“Enchanting . . . Diana Athill, 98, still has a few things to teach us about growing old with dignity and humor and grace . . . Astute and sparkling.” Associated Press
“Witty, candid . . . If you haven’t read Athill, and open her latest book expecting serene reflections from a nonagenarian sipping tea in her garden, you’re in for a surprise.” —San Francisco Chronicle

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