Library Journal: Review of LASTINGNESS The Art of Old Age

Library Journal: Review

Delbanco, Nicholas. Lastingness: The Art of Old Age. Grand Central.

Jan. 2011. c.288p. index. ISBN 9780446199643. $24.99. LIT

Prolific scholar and novelist Delbanco (Spring and Fall) applies his sound literary skills to this study of geniuses–as they aged–in the fields of literature, music, and the visual arts. Delbanco focuses on the fascinating question of why some people’s creative talents flourish with age, while others’ fade. He explores and explains our general societal conflict about our elders and the question of when to expect them to step aside. His profiles include Claude Monet, Giuseppe Verdi, W.B. Yeats, and Alice Neal, among others, all of whom lived until 70 or older and remained productive. Delbanco goes on to inquire into the essence of aging in America today and how creativity can actually increase with age, sharing his personal journey of discovery about his own achievements as he approaches age 70. VERDICT This erudite examination of growing old while continuing to make a difference will appeal to more learned, older readers with an interest in the arts and humanities.–Dale

Farris, Groves, TX

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