Synopses & Reviews
Thirty years ago, Sara Davidson wrote the phenomenal bestseller Loose Change
, the definitive book about the boomer generation's coming-of-age. Now this witty social observer has again turned her discerning eye to her contemporaries, with Leap!
, a no-holds-barred, illuminating, and hopeful look at the choices and challenges we face and the roads open to us.
For many years Davidson earned a living as a successful journalist and screenwriter, but in her fifties she saw her life come apart: She could no longer find work, she endured a break-up with her partner, and her children left for college. For the first time ever, she had nothing to do. She felt adrift, but she found that she was not alone.
In Leap!, Davidson sets out on a passionate quest to learn how to do the coming years well. Drawing on her own experience and that of others, she explores such questions as:
- How does a high-powered person learn to walk down the ladder gracefully?
- How can women continue to be sensual and not touch-deprived?
- How do we arrange to grow old with our friends?
- What will be the fire at the center of our lives?
- Why are we still here?
Davidson interviews people from across the country and from all walks of life, including such icons as Carly Simon, Tom Hayden, Tracy Kidder, Jane Fonda, Ram Dass, and Iman, as well as teachers, writers, psychologists, businesspeople, and spiritual leaders. The candid portraits are both inspiring and cautionary.
True to character, boomers will approach these years differently from previous generations, and there will be no single path. Some will feel free for the first time to take risks; others will embark upon a spiritual search; some will want to give back, to make the world a better place; others will want to play or make creativity a priority. But they will not fade quietly into the sunset.
With Leap!, Sara Davidson holds up a mirror for readers, allowing them to see not only themselves and those around them but their potential future. With Davidson as a guide, the possibilities are boundless.
"The subtitle's question is posed to baby boomers; the author's answers offer an array of arresting possibilities. Davidson, whose book Loose Change tracked three '60s Berkeley radicals, interviews well-known men and women as well as ordinary citizens and deals with such subjects as sex in the age of Cialis, finding work that expresses your purpose in life, finding a community to grow old with and finding a spiritual path. Davidson weaves in her own story, contrasting her decision to remain a writer with Marcia Seligson's midlife choice to give up a writing career to found a musical theater. Some of the 'leaps' represent spiritual transformation, such as how Sally Kempton left the ashram where she had been a disciple of Swami Muktananda for 27 years and adopted a new life of teaching and writing. Davidson compares the late marriage of Gloria Steinem at age 66 with Jane Fonda's ability to finally live without a man after her divorce from Ted Turner. Many of Davidson's subjects are from her own social circles, so her book won't apply to everyone. But her engaging and provocative anecdotes will inspire hope and creative thinking about the future in many readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Interviewing friends, colleagues, and cultural luminaries such as singer Carly Simon, actress/activist Jane Fonda, and spiritual teacher Ram Dass, Davidson scrutinizes ways in which personal values evolve with age. Along the way, she chronicles her own fascinating journey from mainstream media success to insecurity and back to security, this time on her own terms." Library Journal
"With unsparing honesty and relentless research, Davidson has created a powerful if often unsettling account of the risks and losses age inflicts, as well as the rewards it may hold for those as intrepid as herself." Boston Globe
"Davidson lays out the myriad challenges facing the nearly 75 million-strong boomers and looks at healthy, productive ways they are confronting aging and change." Rocky Mountain News
"No matter how many anecdotes about people who make tremendous changes late in their lives...if they almost all come from the same socio-economic background, and it's not the one you inhabit, let's face it, their options are not your options." Los Angeles Times
Addressing the question, "What should I do with the rest of my life?," a study of the baby boom generation looks at the opportunities and pitfalls they confront as they engage in the second half of life, offering portraits of those making voluntary choices, those being forced out of their work, and those enthusiastically using their experience to seek success. 25,000 first printing.
Davidson interviews well-known men and women as well as ordinary citizens on topics such as sex in the age of Cialis, finding meaningful work later in life, having a community to grow old with, and discovering a spiritual path and sets out on a passionate quest to learn how to do the coming years well.
About the Author
Sara Davidson is a journalist, screenwriter, and radio host, as well as the author of best-selling novels Cowbody and Loose Change. In television, she created two drama series, which ran on ABC. She was later co-executive producer of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, wrote hundreds of hours of drama episodes, movies, and miniseries, and in 1994 was nominated for a Golden Globe. She lives in Los Angeles.