By Leni Marshall
Deconstructs fiction and nonfiction to extra understandings of ways getting older and previous age are created.
In vigorous, obtainable prose, this booklet expands the achieve and intensity of age stories. A evaluate of age experiences tools in concept, literature, and perform leads readers to work out how their very own intersectional identities form their ideals approximately age, getting older, and previous age. This learn asks readers to interrogate the “texts” of menopause, self-help books on getting older, and foundational age stories works. as well as the learn of those nonfiction texts, the poetry and prose of Doris Lessing, Lucille Clifton, and Louise Erdrich function cars for exploring how age kinfolk paintings, together with how they invoke readers into kinships of reciprocal care as othermothers, otherdaughters, and otherelders. The literary chapters research how proficient storytellers offer enactments, portrayals, and metaphorical makes use of of age to create transformative capability.
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Additional info for Age Becomes Us: Bodies and Gender in Time
Depending on who defines it, menopause is either the time in a woman’s life that begins when she ceases to have regular, monthly periods (although some women never have this) and ends Ambiguous Loss, Ambiguous Gain 45 at the end of her last period, or the time in a woman’s life after the end of her last period. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this time previously was called the climacteric, a word that came into English from Spanish around 1600. ” In the early 1800s, a “ long-established tradition that saw male and female bodies as similar both in structure and in function began to come ‘under devastating attack ’” (Martin 31, citing Laqueur).
1 Aging into middle age and then into old age makes one conscious of the changes of time. 2 Women who ignore or deny their own aging try to maintain an unchanging idea of who they are, a “fixed, abstract identit[y]” (Schlib 208), even though society and chronology will not and cannot grant them a stable ref lection of self. Moreover, aging offers a real potential for release “from the fixity of dominant unified subject positions” (Komesaroff, Rothfield, and Daly 11). The “dominance” in that concept may be more relevant for straight White women than it is for queer or Black women, as discussed in chapters 1 and 5, respectively.
Occasional mental lapses can frustrate a person’s physical capabilities. 7 The variability of age based on one’s relative, situational age further destabilizes the category. The normative, “naturalized notion of the body is itself a consequence of taboos that render that body discrete by virtue of its stable boundaries” (J. Butler, Gender 132–3, emphasis in the original). I add normative to natural, because according to Butler, the very question of what part(s) are natural always already creates a discursively regulated body.