Against the background of Socrates' insight that the unexamined life is not worth living, Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old investigates the often overlooked inside dimensions of aging. Despite popular portrayals of mid- and later life as entailing inevitable decline, this book looks at aging as, potentially, a process of poeisis: a creative endeavor of fashioning meaning from the ever-accumulating texts - memories and reflections-that constitute our inner worlds. At its center is the conviction that although we are constantly reading our lives to some degree anyway, doing so in a mindful matter is critical to our development in the second half of life.
Drawing on research in numerous disciplines affected by the so-called narrative turn - including cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and the psychology of aging - authors Randall and McKim articulate a vision of aging that promises to accommodate such time-honored concepts as wisdom and spirituality: one that understands aging as a matter not merely of getting old but of consciously growing old.
About the Authors:
William L. Randall, EdD, is Associate Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Author of The Stories We Are and co-author, with Gary Kenyon, of Restoring Our Lives and Ordinary Wisdom, his ideas on narrative and human development have been published in such journals as Theory and Psychology, Narrative Inquiry, and the Journal of Aging Studies.
A. Elizabeth McKim, PhD, is Associate Professor of English, also at St. Thomas University. Her areas of interest include poetic and narrative theory, cognitive poetics, and applied literature. Her scholarship on literature and medicine and literature and aging has been published in Literature and Medicine and Narrative Inquiry.