Age Becomes Us

Bodies and Gender in Time

By Leni Marshall

Subjects: Gender Studies, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism
Series: SUNY series in Feminist Criticism and Theory
Paperback : 9781438456966, 214 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438456973, 214 pages, July 2015

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Table of contents

1. Constructing the Body of Age Studies
2. Deconstructing the Body Through Age Studies: A Primer
3. Ambiguous Loss, Ambiguous Gain: Age Studies Analyses in Menopause and Beyond
4. Changing Bodies and Changing Minds with Doris Lessing’s The Diaries of Jane Somers
5. Lucille Clifton’s Poetic Perspective and Aging
6. Storytelling and Cultural Transmission, with Louise Erdrich’s Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
7. Rewriting Death, Rewriting Life
Works Cited

Deconstructs fiction and nonfiction to further understandings of how aging and old age are created.


In lively, accessible prose, this book expands the reach and depth of age studies. A review of age studies methods in theory, literature, and practice leads readers to see how their own intersectional identities shape their beliefs about age, aging, and old age. This study asks readers to interrogate the "texts" of menopause, self-help books on aging, and foundational age studies works. In addition to the study of these nonfiction texts, the poetry and prose of Doris Lessing, Lucille Clifton, and Louise Erdrich serve as vehicles for exploring how age relations work, including how they invoke readers into kinships of reciprocal care as othermothers, otherdaughters, and otherelders. The literary chapters examine how gifted storytellers provide enactments, portrayals, and metaphorical uses of age to create transformative potential.

Leni Marshall is Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Stout and the coeditor (with Valerie Barnes Lipscomb) of Staging Age: The Performance of Age in Theatre, Dance, and Film.