Still Going Strong: Memoirs, Stories, & Poems About Great Older Women
edited by Janet Amalia Weinberg

Haworth, 2006. ISBN 978-0-789-02871-6.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 03/11/2009

Anthologies/Collections; Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Elders

Still Going Strong is a keeper—not only a keeper but a book I will be giving as a gift.

Lately, many books have been published on how to age well, on how not to age at all (buyer beware), and numerous memoirs by those in the process of aging. Weinberg has edited a collection of fifty brief memoirs, stories and poems, almost all of which are of a high caliber. Many of the mostly women authors are previously published. Here is a book to take on weekend with the gals to read aloud and share or to accompany you on a vacation or retreat or to just sit in a comfortable chair and laugh a lot and nod your head in agreement or to occasionally sigh. Two witty tales, "The Same Old Kiss" and "Ride," are written by Weinberg herself.

Weinberg has organized the material into "Strengths," "Challenges" and "Joys." I found several stories about women who had been widowed. Most of them grieved or were still grieving for beloved husbands, but all of them found a sense of freedom after so many years of being one of a couple. Certainly, they are still going strong. One of my favorite stories, "Seven Little Words," by June Rossbach Bingham Birge, suggests that seven more words be added to our vocabulary of aging: welderly, frailderly, tenergy, peopled-out, enjoyer, adequatism, and altruicide. I'll define only one, tenergy. "...even the most buoyant of welderly must face new limitations to their tenergy [combined time and energy]."

In my years of teaching, I have found that what is remembered best are the stories which illustrate points I am making. Here is a vehicle for many teachings without pedantics. A well-edited, well-written collection of tales to live by.

Amalia Weinberg, Ph.D. is a former psycholgist & founding member of one of the first feminist therapy collectives. Her short stories have appeared in numerous publications.

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