By Suzanne Juhasz
Discovering Senior Space: A Memoir is not an academic book but was written for a general audience. It was precipitated by Juhasz’ retirement at 64, when she suddenly became aware of living in what she calls “senior space”: the moment in time between middle age and old age. Here she began to experience confusion, a sense of instability, and most importantly, questions about her own identity. Yet the messages that she heard were either dismissive, as in “You’re no different from before,” or “Sixty is the new 40” or unrelentingly positive: “Now you can be anyone you want to be!” Few spoke to her own experience. In this memoir she seeks a more relevant understanding of senior space and consequently this particular moment of aging. From the present she moves to the past, looking at her life from the vantage point of daughter, granddaughter, mother, grandmother, lover, teacher, and writer. Through stories and reflection, she explores the threads of her earlier identity and how they are woven together to see how they might help to define who she is today and how she can live fully.
Suzanne Juhasz is a retired Professor of English and Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. In many books and essays she has written on women writers (especially Emily Dickinson), feminist theory, psychology, queer theory, and sometimes ballet. She has published two essays in Persimmon Tree: “Classroom Ballerina: The Sequel” (Winter 2013) and “Feminism’s Many Facets: A Response to Vivian Gornick” (Summer 2015).
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