What is the most baffling period in our lives? Not childhood, not old age, but the decades of our forties and fifties, the period now generously known as middle age. It's both an occasion for regret and an opportunity for coming to terms, the moment when we come up against our limits and discover -- for better and worse -- who we are.
MY LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES is a portrait of what that unnerving experience is like. A collection of unified essays about the pleasures and pathos that attend the threshold of old age, it charts an original course between reportage and confession. Drawn from the author's own life, from the testimony of parents, children, teachers, and friends, from the books he's read and the life that he chose -- and that chose him -- MY LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES is a comic, poignant memoir that's both personal and generational.
Whether he is struggling with God (or trying to find out if he believes in one), celebrating the books he's loved and regretting those he'll never read, or leafing through the snapshots in his family album and marveling at the passage of time, James Atlas is always alert to the surprises of everyday life. He parses the fine points of success and failure among New York's "lower upper-middle class" (several of the chapters began as essays in The New Yorker) and expresses the largest themes: "I tried to remind myself that death was a part of life. I was here, then I wouldn't be here."
Atlas writes movingly about watching his parents age and his father die. In a wry and soul-searching piece, he recounts his perplexing quest for spiritual meaning after a secular lifetime, a quest that takes him to a private synagogue and a Buddhist meditation center. On the tennis court, he ruefully capitulates to his teenage son's blossoming athletic prowess, recalling a similar passing of the torch with his own father forty years earlier.
At once pensive and funny, lighthearted and profound, MY LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES is a tale of survival, but also a meditation on how it feels to flourish -- how to live.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
James Atlas has been an editor for the "New York Times Book Review" and the "New York Times Magazine" and a staff writer for The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He is the founder of Atlas Books and the general editor of the Eminent Lives series. His other books include Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet, Bellow: A Biography, and a novel, The Great Pretender. He lives with his wife and two children in New York City.From AudioFile:
The stories Atlas tells us about life as a middle-aged man (in his case, one neurotically self-absorbed and tender of himself) are mostly commonplace or uninteresting; nothing in the writing or narration lifts them out of the ordinary. In an unprepossessing voice, he intones the material as if reading poetry, a manner that, even for poetry, is tiresome and inauthentic. As a further annoyance, the tracks are too long, their lengths dictated by their content, which should never be the case. The persistent listener will find humor and interesting observations eventually, but most of the time, if Atlas were telling you these stories in a bar, you'd invent another appointment. W.M. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Harper Collins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060196297. Bookseller Inventory # GLN7040DOLM111415H0343A
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800601962951.0
Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060196297
Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060196297
Book Description HarperCollins, New York, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: NEW. Dust Jacket Condition: NEW. First Edition. This copy is NEW; the text is clear, bright, and unmarked; binding is tight. Stated first edition. The jacket is also new: absolutely intact in all ways, including perfect color and design. We have a five star rating because of our fulfilment success and because our descriptions are accurate. All shipments within U.S. sent with Tracking. On foreign sales, because of the heavy weight of this book, we have to charge extra for shipping: however, we will only charge the difference between our regular shipping rate and the extra charge that the U.S.Post Office asks to ship the book. We guarantee: NO NASTY SURPRISES. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 009679
Book Description Harper Collins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060196297 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0060196297
Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-001-79-2978002
Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: This literary and confessional memoir is made up of a collection of unified essays about the pleasures and pathos that haunt us on the threshold of old age. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060196297
Book Description Harper Collins, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060196297