A Diary of My Sixty-First Year: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?
Experiment, 9781615193509, 320pp.
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
This is the thing, you see: I am on my way to being an old man. But at sixty, I am still the youngest of old men.
As Ian Brown's sixtieth birthday loomed, every moment seemed to present a choice: Confront, or deny, the biological fact that the end was now closer than the beginning. True, he was beginning to notice memory lapses, creaking knees, and a certain social invisibility--and yet, it troubled him that many people think of sixty as "old," because he rarely felt older than at forty.
An award-winning writer, Brown instead chose to notice every moment, try to understand it, capture it . . . all without panicking. Sixty is the result: Brown's uncensored account of his sixty-first year, and, informed by his reportorial gifts, his investigation of the many changes--physical, mental, and emotional--that come to all of us as we age.
Brown is a master of the seriocomic, and his day-to-day dramas--as a husband, father, brother, son, friend, and neighbor--are rendered, inseparably, with wistfulness and laugh-out-loud wit. He is also a discerning, prolific reader, and it is a pure pleasure being privy to his thoughts on the dozens of writers--including Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, A. J. Liebling, Wislawa Szymborska, Clive James, Sharon Olds, and Karl Ove Knausgaard--who speak to him most, at sixty.
From an author on whom the telling detail is never lost, Sixty is a richly informative, candid report from the line between middle-aged and soon-to-be-elderly. It perfectly captures the obsessions of a generation realizing that they are no longer young.