6 Books About Mid-Life

Don’t fall victim to the typical hysteria surrounding middle age—panic, regret, a lower-back butterfly tattoo.


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Mid-life should be a time of possibility and new beginnings, opines journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty in Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife.

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Some mid-life twists are more incredible than others, like Governor General Award-winning scribe Diane Schoemperlen’s six-year love affair with a prison inmate in This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison and Other Complications.


Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Proulx explores the trials of generations descended from 17th-century New World woodcutters in the sprawling Barkskins.

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A police officer struggles with one last case and confronting his own tangled history in Principles to Live By from Giller-winner David Adams Richards.


Celebrated Canuck novelist Lisa Moore makes her first foray into young adult literature with Flannery, a tale of high school life and love potions.

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And then there’s 74-year-old Arlene Heyman’s first book, the short story collection Scary Old Sex—exploring everything from intimacy to caregiving among the senior set—about which the New York Times wrote, “Ms. Heyman’s earthiest and most sustained and impressive writing finds its center of gravity at crotch level.” Put that on the book jacket.

A version of this article appeared in our June 2016 issue in the Zoom In, Etc. section, p. 15.