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June 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
From Helen Walmsley-Johnson, adapted from her Guardian columns (Vintage Years), a guide to finding your serenity, wisdom and style as an “older woman”. Helen should know, she's learned the hard way and argues that there should be a better way for women as they age – not to be disregarded, not to be harassed by family duties and not to be locked out of the labour market. She provides a look at growing older as a journey of gathering confidence, ability and self-knowledge and not the slalom downhill from a gilded youth as portrayed in the Media. Embrace your wrinkles and greying hair, embrace change and challenge and embrace the idea of the Visible Woman. ~ Sue Baker
Some messages from women:
'The Invisible Woman always speaks to me, and for me. It's about saying up yours to the cult of youth, but also about seeing the life of the 50+ as hilariously funny (not unlike the life of the 15 year old, when you come to think about it).' - Mary Beard
'The Invisible Woman in The Vintage Years reminds us that style and wit begin in youth but are mastered in middle-age. You can roundly stick your 20's. Hers is a voice for proper grown-ups not yet ready to come down, and I'm in.' Alison Moyet
Like for Like Reading
In Your Prime: Older, Wiser, Happier, India Knight
Older but not Wiser, Cath Tate
Sixty is the new forty, we're constantly told. Or is it that seventy is the new fifty? Yet fashionable clothes shops cater for little but elfin twenty-year-olds; magazines carry little but articles about appearing younger. Heaven forbid you try to apply for a job...Older women are permitted to be either part of the slippers and cardigans brigade, or to cling desperately to their youth and insist on being 'young at heart'. Can't there be a third way? A way to age with grace, security, beauty and adventure, and a way to keep your identity against a growing tide of voices telling you how you'd be happier if only you looked ten years younger.
The ‘Invisible Woman’ of the title is the name of the online Guardian column in which Helen Walmsley-Johnson gave a voice to women approaching and over fifty, who felt ignored by fashion, passed over in the workplace, and largely invisible to society. She clearly touched a nerve, as the response was incredible – from like-minded women who are intelligent, attractive, physically active and healthy, and are just not prepared to be confined to beige. In her book she confronts some of the vicissitudes of ageing: struggling to fit one’s changing body shape into uncooperative and badly made clothing, the pain of losing parents to old age or friends to cancer too young, the terror of having to find another job, the feeling that one is hurtling towards sixty and hasn’t really done anything. In every chapter readers of that ‘certain age’ will find themselves saying ‘exactly’ and ‘absolutely’ out loud. However, Helen Walmsley-Johnson has a gift for writing, and she tells it like it is with great humour. Despite her struggles, her book is both moving and uplifting: I urge you to buy it for yourself and give a copy to all your fifty-something friends!
'The Invisible Woman always speaks to me, and for me. It's about saying up yours to the cult of youth, but also about seeing the life of the 50+ as hilariously funny (not unlike the life of the 15 year old, when you come to think about it).'
'We love the way Helen writes. She tells it as it is because she KNOWS how it is. At Gransnet we constantly battle against the misconceptions and prejudices around ageing. We are delighted that Helen is helping to set the record straight and embrace her philosophies wholeheartedly and with gusto.'
'The Invisible Woman in The Vintage Years reminds us that style and wit begin in youth but are mastered in middle-age. You can roundly stick your 20's. Hers is a voice for proper grown-ups not yet ready to come down, and I'm in.'
Publication date: 04/06/2015
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
|Publication date:||4th June 2015|
|Publisher:||Icon Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, eBook Favourites, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Social issues & processes,|
Helen Walmsley-Johnson is the author of the Guardian's 'The Vintage Years' column, which has 65,000 regular readers. Now 58, Helen relocated to London aged 45, worked for Cameron Mackintosh and the Telegraph, before joining the Guardian as Alan Rusbridger's PA for seven years. She is a passionate believer that there's nothing middle-of-the-road about being middle-aged. Author photo © Anna GordonMore About Helen Walmsley-Johnson