9780345422958

The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty

Heilbrun, Carolyn G.

ISBN 10: 0345422953 / 0-345-42295-3
ISBN 13: 9780345422958
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
When she was young, distinguished author and critic Carolyn Heilbrun solemnly vowed to end her life when she turned seventy. But on the advent of that fateful birthday, she realized that her golden years had been full of unforeseen pleasures. Now, the astute and ever-insightful Heilbrun muses on the emotional and intellectual insights that brought her "to choose each day for now, to live." There are reflections on her new house and her sturdy, comfortable marriage; sweet solitude and the pleasures of sex at an advanced age; the fascination with e-mail and the joy of discovering unexpected friends. Even the encroachments of loss, pain, and sadness that come with age cannot spoil Heilbrun's moveable feast. They are merely the price of bountiful living.

Review:
Years ago Carolyn Heilbrun, a long-time feminist ( Writing a Woman's Life) who also writes mysteries as Amanda Cross ( The James Joyce Murder), decided to leave before age dragged her down by committing suicide at 70. Fortunately, she reneged, and chose instead to chronicle moments from her 60s. Always erudite, often deliciously wry, if sometimes pretentious, Heilbrun hits the mark more often than not in this book of essays. She speaks of "unmet friends" whose lives have paralleled her own and blessed deliverance from the academic bustle and backstabbing of Columbia University, the tyranny of memory, and foolish feminine clothes. Throughout, her sense of renewal is as welcome as her determination to go against the grain.

Review

Review:
As a young woman, Carolyn Heilbrun made a resolution not to live past "three score years and ten." Taking her own life at the age of seventy, she reasoned, would lend clean closure to a life well lived, and would keep her from the many tragedies of aging--becoming a burden to her children, witnessing the deterioration of her body, falling prey to a crippling disease. But on the advent of her seventieth birthday, she looked back on the past ten years and found, to her surprise, that her sixties had been the happiest decade of all: after fifty years, her marriage had matured into a happy balance of companionship and respect for solitude; she had developed deep friendships with her grown children and a small circle of peers; she had mastered a highly successful career as a scholar and writer. In the poignant, essayistic writing that best showcases her elegant talent and provocative mind, Carolyn Heilbrun celebrates the many pleasures of a mature life.

Filled with wisdom, knowledge, wry humor, and literary allusion, The Last Gift of Time is a moving book for all women invested in the pursuit of leading a woman's life to its fullest capacity.

From the Publisher

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Book Description: Ballantine Books, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: When she was young, distinguished author and critic Carolyn Heilbrun solemnly vowed to end her life when she turned seventy. But on the advent of that fateful birthday, she realized that her golden years had been full of unforeseen pleasures. Now, the astute and ever-insightful Heilbrun muses on the emotional and intellectual insights that brought her "to choose each day for now, to live." There are reflections on her new house and her sturdy, comfortable marriage; sweet solitude and the pleasures of sex at an advanced age; the fascination with e-mail and the joy of discovering unexpected friends. Even the encroachments of loss, pain, and sadness that come with age cannot spoil Heilbrun's moveable feast. They are merely the price of bountiful living. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0345422953

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Ballantine Books ed. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. When she was a young woman, distinguished author and critic Carolyn Heilbrun made a solemn resolution not to live past three score years and ten. Taking her own life at the age of seventy, she reasoned, would give closure to a life well lived. But on the advent of her seventieth birthday she realized that the past ten years, the years of her sixties, had been filled with unexpected pleasures. As a consequence, Heilbrun writes: I find it powerfully reassuring now to think of life as borrowed time. Each day one can say to oneself: I can always die; do I choose death or life? I daily choose life the more earnestly because it is a choice. With the wry humor and clarity of vision that have long marked her work, Carolyn Heilbrun writes with honesty about the emotional and intellectual insights that brought her to choose, each day for now, to live. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780345422958

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Book Description: Random House USA Inc, United States, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Ballantine Books ed. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. When she was a young woman, distinguished author and critic Carolyn Heilbrun made a solemn resolution not to live past three score years and ten. Taking her own life at the age of seventy, she reasoned, would give closure to a life well lived. But on the advent of her seventieth birthday she realized that the past ten years, the years of her sixties, had been filled with unexpected pleasures. As a consequence, Heilbrun writes: I find it powerfully reassuring now to think of life as borrowed time. Each day one can say to oneself: I can always die; do I choose death or life? I daily choose life the more earnestly because it is a choice. With the wry humor and clarity of vision that have long marked her work, Carolyn Heilbrun writes with honesty about the emotional and intellectual insights that brought her to choose, each day for now, to live. Bookseller Inventory # AAE9780345422958

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