Losing It by William Ian Miller
In which an Aging Professor laments his shrinking Brain...

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Synopsis

In Losing It, William Ian Miller brings his inimitable wit and learning to the subject of growing old: too old to matter, of either rightly losing your confidence or wrongly maintaining it, culpably refusing to face the fact that you are losing it. The “it” in Miller’s “losing it” refers mainly to mental faculties—memory, processing speed, sensory acuity, the capacity to focus. But it includes other evidence as well—sags and flaccidities, aches and pains, failing joints and organs. What are we to make of these tell-tale signs? Does growing old gracefully mean more than simply refusing unseemly cosmetic surgeries? How do we face decline and the final drawing of the blinds? Will we know if and when we have lingered too long?

Drawing on a lifetime of deep study and anxious observation, Miller enlists the wisdom of the ancients to confront these vexed questions head on. Debunking the glossy new image of old age that has accompanied the graying of the Baby Boomers, he conjures a lost world of aging rituals—complaints, taking to bed, resentments of one’s heirs, schemes for taking it with you or settling up accounts and scores—to remind us of the ongoing dilemmas of old age. Darkly intelligent and sublimely written, this exhilarating and eccentric book will raise the spirits of readers, young and old.

 

About William Ian Miller

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William Ian Miller is Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.
 
Published October 25, 2011 by Yale University Press. 328 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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[than losing] a cell phone or virginity, each of which can be lost in mere seconds of thoughtfulness.” In his opinion, research claiming that old folks are happier as they age simply corroborates his theory that the elderly have lost the capacity to judge.

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Losing It: In which an Aging ...

Publishers Weekly

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After discussing the well-known impacts of aging on memory, he questions whether the acquisition of wisdom is fact or fiction before turning to what is obviously a finely-honed skill, complaining: "I have—perhaps you have too—cultivated a wince when I get in and out of chairs, just so people ...

Nov 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Losing It: In which an Aging ...

The Wall Street Journal

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Then again, digression is the essence of William Ian Miller's book about old age.

Dec 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Losing It: In which an Aging ...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Old age has become a rueful burlesque, and Miller gives it a mordant poke with a sharpened stick, but he also makes us laugh -- there has got to be some wisdom in the refuge of laughter -- as we walk into the teeth, broken and stained no doubt, of old age.

Dec 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Losing It: In which an Aging ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Debunking the glossy new image of old age that has accompanied the graying of the Baby Boomers, he conjures a lost world of aging rituals—complaints, taking to bed, resentments of one’s heirs, schemes for taking it with you or settling up accounts and scores—to remind us of the ongoing dilemmas o...

Jan 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Losing It: In which an Aging ...

Arts Fuse

“Losing It” explores growing old through an assemblage of tales and lessons drawn from works of the past—the Icelandic Sagas, the classics, the Bible, the Torah—to which the author adds a plenitude of his own dicta and pensées, slinging the whole contraption together on a webbing of extrapolation...

Dec 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Losing It: In which an Aging ...

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