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It's never (ever) too late to publish, apparently. Plus other Oldster-ish subjects I've been reading up on this week...

Led by my fascination with what it means to pass through time in a human body, I tend to read, watch, and listen to an awful lot of Oldster-ish content (or which at least has Oldster-ish elements to it). Now and then I’ll pass some of it along to you.

What makes something qualify as Oldster-ish, you ask? It either highlights or calls into question what it means to be a particular age. Or, it’s nostalgic for any age group’s heyday.


Here are links to articles and essays I’ve recently enjoyed—this week, many of them have to do with publishing later in life:

  1. …the publishing industry is viewed by some trade observers as too often fetishizing young writers, so while 50 is considered relatively young in many circles, for a first-time author to find her way onto the grand stage is a rarity.” At the New York Times, author and Walk-It-Off newsletterer Isaac Fitzgerald interviews debut fiction writer Jocelyn Nicole Johnson.

  2. It took me fifty years to call myself a writer.” — Geri Modell writes in “MFgrAy” in Roxane Gay’s The Audacity. One more writer who got rolling in her fifties, and it’s a trend…

  3. Oh, right: Next summer yours truly will become a debut memoirist at the ripe old age of 56 with And You May Find Yourself: Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen X: Weirdo. (You’d be doing me a favor if you’d mark it as “want to read” on Goodreads.) A trend it is!

  4. But wait! There’s more… “First novel at 60, forthcoming novel at 65, third in the works. Now and then the hot chill of regret passes through me. I should have started sooner.” So writes Stephanie Gangi at Electric Literature.

  5. Late-in-life literary debuts are remarkable, but so is late-in-life literary longevity (say that 10 times, fast). At Kirkus, Tom Beer writes about writers 80 and over who’ve still got it. (OMG, I need that Hilma Wolitzer story collection, especially after reading this incredible excerpt at Electric Literature and this interview her novelist daughter Meg conducted with her, in the Washington Post.)

  6. The trip from zero to 90 is somewhat bumpy; age sneaks up on you. One minute you’re a youngish mother with three daughters all born within six years, and the next you’re grandma…” writes nonagenarian author Anne Bernays in the Boston Globe.

  7. Brilliant journalist and podcaster Leah Sottile is understandably pissed that the pandemic ruined her 40th birthday. Read all about it on her newsletter.

  8. On confronting your mortality young, via a cancer diagnosis. Author and Men Yell At Me newsletter Lyz Lenz interviews No Cure For Being Human author, Kate Bowler.

  9. A year ago I finally got on an antidepressant and it was like someone had changed the settings on my operating system…I wish I’d gotten help sooner.” Writer Ayesha Siddiqi advises a 30-year-old who asks, “How do I make up for my lost years?”

  10. If you’re over 50 and had to move back in with your parents, The Guardian wants to hear from you.

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