Elderly Protagonists AKA books about living longer

Recommended Reading

When I decided to call my author website, SilverReads, my intent was to draw attention to the fact that older readers need heroes too. If there can be Middle Grade fiction and Young Adult fiction for those struggling with coming of age, why not older age fiction for those more summing up their lives and deciding how to make the best of it?

The New Yorker recently ran an article entitled: Why We Can’t Tell the Truth About Aging with the subtitle, A long life is a gift. But will we really be grateful for it? The author ( an early Septuagenarian) complains hardily about all the non fiction books currently out there extolling the science of living longer.

On the fiction end, he also offers  a list of novels  “about ripeness in late life”  or Vollendungsroman that have elderly protagonists.  So let me repeat that list.

Louis Begley (“About Schmidt”), Sue Miller (“The Distinguished Guest”), Saul Bellow (“Ravelstein”), Philip Roth (“Everyman”), and Margaret Drabble (“The Dark Flood Rises”).

I have read Margaret Drabble’s The Dark Flood Rises and found it a very worthy read about a very determined woman meeting some realistic challenges.

So I guess my idea of SilverReads was not so original after all.  But logically if there are going to be more of us hanging around longer, we need characters we can relate to.


original source: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/11/04/why-we-cant-tell-the-truth-about-aging

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