The Third Third

When I Turned 60

“Turning 60 was like being told I had six months to live,” writes Vivian Gornick in a New York Times essay  excerpted from her new memoir The Odd Woman and the City.  It’s a dramatic premise, this literal deadline.  And yet in Gornick’s case (she’s now 79) it seems less about age itself and even less about death than about the “to live”  part. She asks, as many of us are wont to, “Who am I now?” The book chronicles her effort to free herself from the crippling insecurities and well-established coping mechanisms of her psyche in order to live more fully and authentically. Her story is one of poignant transformation — from a productive but disappointing existence spent yearning for “things” to be different so she could be different, to making peace with being in the world as it is.  The Odd Woman’s story is one worth sharing.

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