Later Life views older age as a valuable stage of life and argues for the centrality of self-making to the quality of later life. Aiming to enrich an understanding of ageing as the unfolding process in which people try to negotiate vulnerabilities of their bodies and manage mortality, it explores the conditions for pursuing the search for knowledge of oneself in later life.

This new book, with the help of literary examples, presents factors both supporting and hindering the quality of the experience of later life. It demonstrates how wondering, courage and habit sustain the self-making in older age. After illustrating that the process of ageing also imposes ordeals, the book depicts remedies needed to overcome boredom, bitterness and sadness, three torments caused by the age-specific sense of time.

It is essential reading not only for academics and professionals in age studies, sociology of ageing, gerontology and health care, but also for a general audience. The book’s focus on the experiences of later life will appeal to the reader interested in understanding the complexities of ageing and in enhancing the quality of later life, while its reliance on literary illustrations will be appreciated by lovers of literature.

chapter |20 pages


Later life and the experience of ageing

part Part I|64 pages

The pillars of later life

chapter Chapter 1|24 pages

Keeping on wondering

chapter Chapter 2|20 pages

It takes courage

chapter Chapter 3|19 pages

The enabling potential of habit

part Part II|71 pages

The ordeals of later life

chapter Chapter 4|24 pages

The specious present and boredom

chapter Chapter 5|22 pages

The flexible past and bitterness

chapter Chapter 6|24 pages

The diminishing future and sadness

chapter |8 pages


Explications and ellipses