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On Women Turning Fifty: Celebrating Mid-Life Discoveries

by Cathleen Rountree

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On Women Turning Fifty honors the new faces of aging with powerful, positive images of fiftysomething women who share stories of mid-life discovery. Accomplished by beautiful photographs, these candid and engaging interviews reveal women whose challenges, conflicts, and triumphs are reshaping our attitudes toward work, relationships, and personal growth. From Gloria Steinem, Isabel Allende, Ellen Burstyn, and Mary Ellen Mark to single-parent school teacher Deanne Burke and breast cancer survivor Barbara Eddy, the diverse voices in On Women Turning Fifty offer exhilarating models of confidence, courage, and celebration.… (more)

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This is a collection of interviews of famous and not-so-famous women who have navigated their fiftieth birthdays. The women as individuals may be described as admirable, fascinating, witty, and even awesome (check out Dolores Huerta who has spent most of her adult life as a full-time human rights activist, living in poverty or near-poverty, while giving birth to 11 children—most of whom are now college graduates—and periodically catering to the demands of one of her three husbands). A more interesting aspect of this collection is what these women have in common. They each find this time in their lives more free, more focused on making a contribution to society, less focused on physical appearance and pleasing others, and less concerned (if not unconcerned) with having men in their lives. Tabra Tunoa, jewelry designer and manufacturer, said, "You waste a lot of time in your thirties trying to look twenty and in your forties trying to look thirty"—one comment from among several in the interviews which imply that the forties are for clearing up the vestiges of denial of age, and the fifties are for embracing its gifts. Said Gloria Steinem, "I learned that to be defiant about age may be better than despair—it's energizing—but it is not progress." Rountree has done a fine job of asking the right questions, eliciting illuminating answers, and photographing 18 women who are worth hearing from. (March 1995)
  bookcrazed | Jan 17, 2012 |
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On Women Turning Fifty honors the new faces of aging with powerful, positive images of fiftysomething women who share stories of mid-life discovery. Accomplished by beautiful photographs, these candid and engaging interviews reveal women whose challenges, conflicts, and triumphs are reshaping our attitudes toward work, relationships, and personal growth. From Gloria Steinem, Isabel Allende, Ellen Burstyn, and Mary Ellen Mark to single-parent school teacher Deanne Burke and breast cancer survivor Barbara Eddy, the diverse voices in On Women Turning Fifty offer exhilarating models of confidence, courage, and celebration.

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