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Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing Hardcover – November 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781681392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781681398
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British academic Segal (Is the Future Female?), a professor of psychology and gender studies at London's Birkbeck College, gracefully explores the subject of aging in this combination memoir and analysis. Segal outlines fears about growing older and discusses our culture's ingrained negative attitudes about the elderly female body, as well as men's fear of losing their masculinity as they age. The author also highlights the joys of love and sexuality as one grows older. The book's most politically charged section addresses the inevitable effects of the increasing class divide on the elderly; the younger generations, hit hardest by the recession, blame the baby boomers for the poor economy, while the older generations are already struggling with the fact that financial security is necessary for aging happily. While Segal seamlessly incorporates psychoanalytic theory and passages from writers like Simone de Beauvoir, John Updike, and Alice Walker, she also offers her own perspective as a feminist and scholar, reminding readers that the process of aging is never simple or straightforward. (Nov.)

Review

 "So what does it mean to age gracefully? How is this done? These questions are at the centre of a thoughtful new book from Lynne Segal" – Economist


"Out of Time is a thoughtful, reflective book. It encourages people to keep dreaming, keep fighting, and perhaps most of all keep living." —Pop Matters 

"In this courageous study, Lynne Segal addresses the vicissitudes of ageing, a process that lies in wait for us all. She turns on the subject a critical eye honed by social psychology, psychoanalysis, feminism and radical politics. An original, probing and unsettling exploration." Stuart Hall, author of Representation

"It’s about time for a book like Out of Time, compassionate, seasoned, honest, and wise, which asks questions about age but aims to enlighten, rather than frighten us. Read on!"
Elaine Showalter, author of A Jury of Her Peers

"An international treasure … her beautifully written, deeply engrossing work … will inspire new generations."—Barbara Ehrenreich

"One of the most capacious readers of feminism and sexuality studies I have ever encountered."—Judith Butler

"Passionate, lucid, and shockingly candid … a clarion call to those who see feminism as a redundant cause."—Helen Walsh

Customer Reviews

The author writes well and quotes many optimistic views of aspects of old age as well as many less optimistic views.
Damaskcat
It's interesting to note how aging male movie actors and television personalities are portrayed vs. how their female counterparts are portrayed.
Mary Blowers
There were many long quotes from various feminists and I found it difficult to segue from the quotation to the author's point of view.
Goldendale Gal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It is much safer and easier to ask someone who's in their sixties or seventies their age, something which we dare not ask someone who's in the thirties or forties. Old age is not an easy thing. Someone once said, "Old age is not for sissies!"

In a bold new book Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing, British academician Lynne Segal, who is a professor of psychology and gender studies at Birkbeck College, London, delves into the issue of aging in a passionate and striking manner, exploring both its pleasures and perils in a definitive study as she only can. We're supposed to deny being old; it is seen as an insulting, or at least unwelcome, well padded with euphemisms. Ageing is a process, a matter of degree rather than a fixed identity. `You are only as old as you feel', though routinely offered as a jolly form of reassurance, carries its own severe judgement and disavowal of the benefits and joys of old age.

Without mincing words, Segal discusses the fear of growing old which is not the attitude of some few people but the vast sea of humanity. Both a memoir and analysis, Segal also pointed that the process of aging is complex but not without its fair share of happiness. There are also the joys of love and sexuality as one grows older. It is a book that educates the reader on the subject of aging, and to view the aged with more understanding and compassion.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Goldendale Gal on January 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I ordered the Kindle edition after reading a rave review in the Economist, a British publication. There is an average of 88 footnotes per chapter. Try turning the Kindle page without touching a footnote number! Kindle takes you immediately to the footnote and then you need to spend minutes trying to go back to where you were reading. Paging back doesn't do it. There were many long quotes from various feminists and I found it difficult to segue from the quotation to the author's point of view. The book reads like a doctoral thesis. The material was interesting but poorly presented. I am a 72 year old woman and have never looked into the mirror and seen "with horror" my mother's image. This was a recurring theme in the book. The many joys that growing older can bring were given scant attention. I finished the book, however I'll admit I skimmed many parts just to get on with it. The author was far too much in the background, buried by all her quotations from other people. What did she think - where was her voice?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Maeri VINE VOICE on January 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lynne Segal's Out of Time is a well-written exploration of how women experience aging in today's society. The male reviewers here have noted that it is primarily about women and thus of no real interest to them, which mirrors the general male indifference to the problems of older women, but this demonstrates why this is a much needed book. Segal acknowledges the very gendered aspect of aging, which affects women much more than men. Most of the elderly are women, who are more likely to be financially poor (sometimes as the result of taking care of aging spouses) and despite their social networks, more likely to be aging alone. As Segal points out, older women are not only marginalized and ignored in patriarchy, they are also disregarded by younger, feminist women. How do older women craft an identity for themselves in a world where they are either treated as they are invisible or as objects of cultural contempt? Nobody wants to be an old lady, but it happens to us whether we want to or not. This is a thoughtfully written book and well worth reading.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George Pappas on December 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A joy to read. Segal's depth of literary sources helps you understand the complexity around the perceptions on aging. If you want to decode the false debates between young and old and discover meaningful insights on how to retain your passion for life, read this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hidas on November 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This has been a disappointment for me, though the book is full of information about what knowledgeable people have said and thought. Too encyclopedic for me. I am sure other people will see it differently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By old lady on August 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The thesis is good and many of the comments would accord with my own thinking on aging and its social problems. I am left wondering why Ms Segal has relied so heavily on the views and musings of noted authors on the subject. Interesting no doubt but scarcely authoritative and her own autobiographical reflections are more valuable. She correctly identifies what we all know are the issues: anonymity; loneliness; loss; and ever diminishing horizons.
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