Synopses & Reviews
The Middlepause offers a vision of contentment in middle age, without sentiment or delusion. Marina Benjamin weighs the losses and opportunities of our middle years, taking inspiration from literature, science, philosophy, and her own experience. Spurred by her surgical propulsion into a sudden menopause, she finds ways to move forward while maintaining clear-eyed acknowledgment of the challenges of aging. Attending to complicated elderly parents and a teenaged daughter, experiencing bereavement, her own health woes, and a fresh impetus to give back what’s been given to her, Benjamin emerges into a new definition of herself as daughter, mother, citizen, and woman.
Among The Middlepause’s many wise observations about no longer being young: “I am discovering that I care less about what other people think.” “My needs are leaner and my storehouse fuller.” “I have always had a knee-jerk distaste for the idea that age is all in the mind...it is not possible to fully appreciate what it means to age without attending to what the body knows.” “You need a cohort of peers to go through the aging process with you. A cackle of crones! A cavalry!” Marina Benjamin’s memoir offers comfort and companionship to women going through the too-seldom-spoken-of physical and mental changes in middle age and beyond.
“Eloquent and intelligent...This is a measured and beautifully written critique of menopause and middle age that pre-, mid-, and postmenopausal women will find eminently relatable, and that those who love and care for them will likewise appreciate.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Women do a lot of things to mark turning fifty. Go to a resort! Have a bang-up party! Far, far better: read The Middlepause.” Jill Lepore
“In The Middlepause Benjamin deftly and brilliantly examines the losses and unexpected gains she experienced in menopause. Menopause is a mind and body shift as monumental and universal as puberty, yet far less often discussed, especially in public, which is what makes Benjamin’s work here so urgently necessary.” Kate Tuttle, The Los Angeles Times
“Lucid and sophisticated....The Middlepause is a restrained but wonderful guide to the convulsive changes of 50 and over....This is a book that yields valuable insights on almost every page.” Melissa Benn, The Guardian
About the Author
Marina Benjamin is the author of two previous memoirs, Rocket Dreams, shortlisted for the Eugene Emme Award, and Last Days in Babylon, longlisted for the Wingate Prize. She lives in London and is currently a senior editor at the digital magazine Aeon.