Joan Smith

Amazing Greys

Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing

By

Verso Books 331pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The meaning of old age has changed radically in my lifetime. People are living longer and some of us will remain healthy at an age when previous generations would have expected to be infirm or dependent. At the same time, the number of older people with dementia is rising, contributing to a narrative in which age is more than ever something to be feared or denied. Popular culture encourages women to start worrying about the signs of ageing in their twenties, creating a situation in which adults could spend most of their lives fretting over the gradual loss of youth. Wrinkles? Cellulite? It’s never too early to contemplate that first facelift, at least if you happen to be a reader of one of the biggest-selling newspapers in the UK.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,
    • What did Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, James Boswell and Edmund Burke all have in common? Clare Bucknell reveal… ,