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

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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