Living into our histories

Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.” So Anne Tyler begins her latest novel, Back When We Were Grownups. The woman is 53-year-old Rebecca Davitch, a grandmother who, at least on the surface, is outgoing, joyous and “the life of the party.” But Rebecca is beginning to ask herself whether she is an impostor in her own life. Is she living her own life? Or is it someone else’s?

How do you cope with the tensions between how you imagined your life might turn out, and how it in fact does? Perhaps you have met significant oppression or unexpected tragedy. Perhaps your life has brought material success but personal emptiness. In middle age, can one find a way to reclaim the lustre of an optimistic youthfulness?


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