On Women Turning 70: Cathleen Rountree

Article excerpt


As in the fascinating earlier books of this series, where she interviewed women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, author Cathleen Rountree is searching for role models. "When you meet people who have lived long enough to develop `selfness,' authenticity, and power," she emphasizes, "you feel more powerful yourself in their presence."

On Women Turning 70 is an inspiring invitation to live life fully as we age. The interviews here present 16 exceptional women -- artists, social activists, actors, scientists, journalists, academics, poets and novelists.

For me, these interviews have the feeling of sitting in on a round table conversation. Listen to some of the voices: "This is the best time of my life. I love being old. I am more myself than I have ever been. I am happier, more balanced, and more powerful." (author May Sarton) "What you can look forward to is liberation from the limitations. You don't have to prove anything to anybody, do you? And you've fulfilled whatever roles are prescribed for you." (feminist Betty Friedan) "I've lived an entire life since I was 50. The years from 50 to 70 have been some of the most creative and wonderfully fulfilling years of my life." (self-styled crone Leah Friedman)

This is a motivational book. As such, it portrays the best later life gets. …