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Breaking Free: Women of Spirit at Midlife and beyondby Marilyn Sewell
Synopses & Reviews
A groundbreaking anthology for women searching for spiritual guideposts to the second half of life
Breaking Free is a collection of personal essays by women in the second half of their lives—essays in which they examine what age and life have taught them, reflect upon their lives and experiences, and reveal where they have arrived. As editor Marilyn Sewell notes in her introduction, around the age of fifty or so, many women begin to separate from cultural constraints, to become their own persons in ways they perhaps had not dared to do previously. “They begin to become defined less by others and more by their own choices. This movement into personhood does involve some breaking of barriers, and there is a kind of release, a kind of freedom, in the breaking and in the choosing.”
This sense of moving into personhood in the shadow of mortality animates Breaking Free, giving its essays a wonderful forthrightness and boldness: These are writers who get down and dirty, who have looked at themselves as they are and life as it is. They are facing what time has taken from them, but also, more importantly, discovering the powerful gifts that come only with age and experience.
Contributors include Vivian Gornick, Audre Lorde, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Terry Tempest Williams, Isabel Allende, Barbara Hurd, Sandy Boucher, and Maya Angelou.
An inspiring collection of writing about women's spirituality in the second half of life includes contributions from Vivian Gornick, Audre Lorde, Erica Jong, Grace Paley, Terry Tempest Williams, Isabel Allende, Barbara Hurd, Sandy Boucher, and Maya Angelou, among others. Original.
In twenty-seven personal and daring essays, some of our finest women writers examine the second half of their lives. They grapple with what age and life have taught them, contemplate their experiences, and reflect on where they have arrived. These are writers who get down and dirty, who have looked at themselves as they are, and at life as it is, to discover not only what time has taken from them but also the powerful gifts that only come with age and experience.
Contributors include: Isabel Allende, Maya Angelou, M. F. K. Fisher, China Galland, Vivian Gornick, Germaine Greer, Erica Jong, Audre Lorde, Grace Paley, Alix Kates Shulman, Gloria Steinem, and Terry Tempest Williams.
About the Author
Marilyn Sewell is senior minister of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon, and editor of Cries of the Spirit (Beacon / 6849-7 / $20.00 pb) and Claiming the Spirit Within (Beacon / 6861-6 / $20.00 pb). She lives in Portland.
Table of Contents
Introduction — from Fear of fifty / Erica Jong — Facing / Dorothy Wall — Sink or swim / Annick Smith — What this old hand knows / Alma Roberts Giordan — from Fierce attachments / Vivian Gornick — from A good enough daughter / Alix Kates Shulman — Baking bread with my daughter / Kathleen Dean Moore — Viriditas in Vinci / Judith Sornberger — from The cancer journals / Audre Lorde — Saying yes, yes, always yes / Sandy Boucher — from The woman within / Ellen Glasgow — from Aphrodite: a memoir of the senses / Isabel Allende — A song to sensuality / Maya Angelou — from Revolution within / Gloria Steinem — from The change / Germaine Greer — On being a rebellious old woman / Baba Cooper — Upstaging time / Grace Paley — Nana i ke ku, Looking to the source / Yvonne Mokihana Calizar — The calling / Joanne B. Mulcahy — Mopping the floor / China Galland — from The measure of my days / Florida Scott-Maxwell — Wrestling with my angel / Marilyn Sewell — Fearless / Susan Griffin — Death of a mouse / M.F.K. Fisher — Santa Teresa / Terry Tempest Williams — In the hollow that remains / Barbara Hurd.
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