Elderhood: Book summary and reviews of Elderhood by Louise Aronson

Elderhood

Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life

by Louise Aronson

Elderhood by Louise Aronson X
Elderhood by Louise Aronson
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Book Summary

As revelatory as Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, physician and award-winning author Louise Aronson's Elderhood is an essential, empathetic look at a vital but often disparaged stage of life.

For more than 5,000 years, "old" has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we've made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, denigrated, neglected, and denied.

Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that's neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy--a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and humanity itself.

Elderhood is for anyone who is, in the author's own words, "an aging, i.e., still-breathing human being."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] penetrating meditation on geriatrics ... Aronson's deep empathy, hard-won knowledge, and vivid reportage makes for one of the best accounts around of the medical mistreatment of the old." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"By collectively observing age from diverse perspectives, the author hopes readers (and caregivers) will discover a new appreciation for growing old that is positive, fruitful, and rewarding. Empathetic, probing, and often emotionally moving narratives on appreciating the power and the pain of aging." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Aronson's Elderhood is dazzling, rich with knowledge gleaned from her professional work as a geriatrician, her personal experience as a daughter, her common sense, and her thorough analysis of our social supports and cultural messaging. Her arguments are powerful, and her conclusions are revolutionary. I hope everyone who has a stake in older people, which is ultimately all of us, will read this book." - Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia and Women Rowing North

"Aronson writes like a memoirist while giving us scientific insight, philosophical wisdom, and wise counsel for a journey and destination we all share. Elderhood is a lovely and thoughtful exploration of this voyage." - Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

"In Elderhood, the physician-writer Louise Aronson provides an honest and humane analysis of what it means to grow old in America...I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone who plans on growing old in this country." - Sandeep Jauhar, author of Heart: A History

"This searing, luminous book is for everyone who hopes to accomplish the latter and remain fully human as they do. It will challenge your assumptions and open your mind—and it just might change your life." - Dr. Lucy Kalanithi

The information about Elderhood shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Louise Aronson

Louise Aronson, MD, is the author of A History of the Present Illness and a geriatrician, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she directs UCSF Health Humanities. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the MFA Program For Writers at Warren Wilson College, Dr. Aronson has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism, the California Homecare Physician of the Year Award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year Award, as well as numerous awards for her teaching, educational research, and writing. The recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and four Pushcart nominations, her articles and stories have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and Bellevue Literary Review. She lives in San Francisco.

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