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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 little respected 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, disparaged, 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."



About the Author

Louise Aronson

Louise Aronson is a doctor, writer, educator, and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) . A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, she is the author of a short story collection, A History of the Present Illness (Bloomsbury, 2013) and the forthcoming non-fiction Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, and Reimagining Life (Bloomsbury, June 11, 2019) . Her articles and stories have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Narrative Magazine, and Bellevue Literary Review and have earned her a MacDowell fellowship, the Sonora Review Prize, and four Pushcart nominations. For her medical work, she has received the Gold Professorship in Humanism in Medicine, the California Homecare Physician of the Year award, and the American Geriatrics Society Clinician-Teacher of the Year award. Learn more at www.louisearonson.com.



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