Novels about coming of (old) age

In a June 2018 Christian Century, article, “Coming of old age in an aging world,” Shirley Showalter recommends three recent novels by older authors that focus on themes common in aging populations while also containing elements found in other contemporary genres: confession, a journey or quest, dreams and flashbacks to the past, sexual passion, ethical questions around time and money, and relationships to children and grandchildren.

The books are:

  • The Dark Flood Rises by Margaret Drabble
  • The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
  • Often I am Happy bu Jens Grondahl

Bias against divorced, widowed, or never-married in cancer treatment

This Washington Post article reports on research findings concerning the influence of marital status on cancer treatment.  Married patients tend to receive more aggressive treatment than divorced, widowed, or never-married patients.  To read an NPR interview with the author, Joan DelFattore, click on the following link:


Older in the Trans World

The book, Survive on this Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults is the result of collaboration between a photographer (Jess T. Duggan) and a social worker (Vanessa Fabbre).  They wrote the book to counter ageism in the LGBTQ world and homophobia among the elderly.  It includes 65 portraits and interviews collected during a 4-year period.

To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults

“Alternate Endings” HBO documentary about alternative ways to die

Alternate Endings explores how a new generation of elderly Americans is making dying more personal and more open.  To read about the documentary in The Atlantic, click on the following link:

Reminder about age discrimination

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It does not protect workers under the age of 40, although some states have laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination. It is not illegal for an employer or other covered entity to favor an older worker over a younger one, even if both workers are age 40 or older.

Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are both over 40.

Age Discrimination & Work Situations

The law prohibits discrimination in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

Age Discrimination & Harassment

It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her age.

Harassment can include, for example, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s age. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that aren’t very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

Age Discrimination & Employment Policies/Practices

An employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of age, can be illegal if it has a negative impact on applicants or employees age 40 or older and is not based on a reasonable factor other than age (RFOA).