That’s the witty title of an opinion piece by journalist Patricia Cohen, who’s just published a book called In Our Prime: The Invention of Midlife. I’ve been struck by how much her undertaking resembles the one I’ve set myself. The review in the New York Times opens with “An upbeat look at middle age? Patricia Cohen had her work cut out for her.” Sounds familiar.
I’m lucky to be working with writer-editor and extremely sharp friend Marisa Bowe, who co-edited a terrific book called Gig: Americans Talk About Their Job at the Turn of the Millennium. She’s been reviewing my interview transcripts, and pulled the following quote out of my talk with Eddie Lewis, who worked for forty-three years as a milkman before getting hired by the local funeral home. “How come you didn’t get a job with better hours?” I asked, after prying out of him the fact that he’d never liked the 2:30AM wake-up call. “I don’t know. I never thought of it,” Lewis replied.