Please recommend articles, essays or books about aging.
August 19, 2009 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend articles, essays or books about aging.

I recently read two essays that intrigued me. One was a 2007 New Yorker essay by Atul Gawande and the other was a more recent Men's Journal essay by Pat Jordan.

Can anyone recommend additional essays, articles or books about what it's like to age, or to be old? I'd be interested in anything remotely relevant - the article does not need not be just about men, or Americans/westerners, and it need not be focused, like these essays, on the science of aging/health care issues or one man's subjective experience of aging. Essays would be particularly interesting but I'd certainly consider books, scientific articles accessible to the lay reader, sociology texts, a primer on gerontology... pretty much anything. Both fiction and non-fiction would be fine.

Many thanks in advance.
posted by cheapskatebay to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
posted by saguaro at 1:58 PM on August 19, 2009

If you're familiar with Our Bodies Ourselves, you might enjoy this book from the same collective, Ourselves Growing Older. Lots of essays, very sex positive and people-positive, has a lot of good health care information and resources. Mainly for women, but sort of good for everyone, I think.
posted by jessamyn at 2:09 PM on August 19, 2009

Over the Next Hill is a really neat ethnography about people who sell their homes to take up full time RVing for their retirement. It is scholarly, but not off-puttingly so. It deals with aging, both in the sense of the retirement culture that has arisen around RVing, and in detailing some of the ways in which RVing is positive and negative for retired folks, shifting from one to the other largely as people age.
posted by carmen at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2009

Sister Age by MFK Fisher. I think it is essays -- most of her work is. Never read this one but she's a fantastic and spirited writer.
posted by toomuchkatherine at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2009

Laurie Russell Hatch's article Gender and Ageism from the journal Generations; Gloria Steinem's Moving Beyond Words (a collection of essays on aging and gender).
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:42 PM on August 19, 2009

Here's an article from today's NY Times.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:01 PM on August 19, 2009

Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences by Baltes and Baltes
Social gerentology: A multidisciplinary perspective by Hooyman and Kiyak
Vital involvement in old age by Erikson and Erikson
These are all scholarly texts but I think they are worth the read. If you are unfamiliar with Erikson, he was a developmental psychologist who framed human development in 7 stages of psychosocial crisis. Later in his own life, he added a ninth stage: integrity vs. despair. His theories are really interesting, and he's written some informal articles, too.
posted by pintapicasso at 9:53 PM on August 19, 2009

Enjoy Old Age, by B.F. Skinner. That B.F. Skinner. Very practical and analytic.

posted by the Real Dan at 10:31 PM on August 19, 2009

My sincere thanks to all who've replied. I'm looking forward to delving into your suggestions.
posted by cheapskatebay at 8:51 AM on August 25, 2009

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