Patrick Allington reviews 'A Long Time Coming: Essays on old age' by Melanie Joosten

Patrick Allington reviews 'A Long Time Coming: Essays on old age' by Melanie Joosten

A Long Time Coming: Essays on old age

by Melanie Joosten

Scribe $29.99 pb, 256 pp, 9781925321371

Melanie Joosten begins the introduction to A Long Time Coming, her book of essays about ageing, by quoting Simone de Beauvoir: 'let us recognise ourselves in this old man or in that old woman'. In doing so, Joosten makes a plea for heightened empathy towards older people, but she goes on to make it clear that empathy without action – without changed perceptions, changed behaviour – is insufficient. As such, A Long Time Coming is a challenging as well as eminently readable book.

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Patrick Allington

Patrick Allington

Patrick Allington was the recipient of the inaugural ABR Patrons’ Fellowship, worth $5000. His novel, Figurehead (Black Inc. 2009), was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His short fiction and book criticism appears in Australian newspapers, magazines, and journals, including regularly in ABR.