Composing A Further Life

Composing A Further Life

The Age of Active Wisdom

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
From the author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, “Adulthood II,” created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources—of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn,” and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women—herself included—who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversations are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who explores the importance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual caring; the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents each of us—at any age—with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm. At the same time, it speaks to us as members of a larger society concerned about the world that our children and grandchildren, born and not yet born, will inherit. “We live longer,” she says, “but we think shorter.” As adults find themselves entering Adulthood II, making the choices that will affirm and complete the meaning of the lives they have lived, they can play a key role, contributing their perspectives and their experience of adapting to change. In our day, wisdom is no longer associated with withdrawal and passivity but with engagement with others and the contribution that Bateson calls “active wisdom.”

Baker & Taylor
An exuberant follow-up to Composing a Life evaluates the creative aspects of aging today, relating the experiences of men and women whose lasting health and resources have enabled them to realize a meaningful sense of purpose throughout the second half of life.

Blackwell Publishing
"As she did in her wonderful book Composing a Life, Mary Catherine Bateson has used her unique vision and insight to light up the many facets of the `Further Life,' giving us a whole fresh way to look at this new frontier of longevity."---Jane Fonda, author of My Life So Far

"Bateson uses her well-honed ability to share stories from her life and the lives of others to teach and inspire us. Countless insights in her remarkable book speak to those of us who are older adults and to anyone committed to building communities where diversity is a cherished value."---Johnnetta B. Cole, author of Conversations: Straight Talk with America's Sister President

"This wonderful book is a necessary illustration of how growing older can be a positive experience."---Robert N. Butler, M. D., author of Why Survive? Being Old in America

"In this eloquent and insightful book, Mary Catherine Bateson gives us a new guide for making the most of the longevity revolution as individual men and women and as a nation. Distilling the essential qualities of `active wisdom,' she helps all of us in the new stage of life she identifies as Adulthood II see the path to new fulfillment and to using what we've learned from life to leave a better world for generations to come. Composing a Further Life is at once a road map and a revelation."---Marc Freedman, author of Encore: Finding Work That matters in the Second Half of Life

"One of the wisest people on the planet has written one of the finest books on the later years of life. Rich in conversation, insight, and personal discovery, she explores the `Age of Active Wisdom' in ways that defeat all stereotypes of ageism."---Jean Houston, author of A Mythic Life: Learning of Live Our Greater Story

"Instead of resigning ourselves to the silent fate that says aging is an inevitable downward spiral into meaningless disuse, Bateson offers us actual men and women who invented meaningful new futures for themselves. As Apollinaire wrote, `Let us open the last petals of the future.'"---Mel S. Kimura Bucholtz, M.A., Ericksonian Hypnotherapist and Trainer

From the Author of Composing a Life (first published in 1991 and still in print), an inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle, "Adulthood II," created by unprecedented levels of health, energy time, and resources---of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.

Mary Catherine Bateson sees aging today as an "improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn," and in this ardent, affirming study, she relates the experiences of men and women---herself included---who, upon entering this second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute, composing their lives in new patterns.

Among the people Bateson engages in open-ended, in-depth conversations, are a retired Maine boatyard worker who has become a silversmith and maker of fine jewelry; an African American woman who explores the improtance of grandmothering; two gay men finding contentment in mutual caring; the retired dean of a cathedral in New York City who exemplifies how a multiplicity of interests and connections lead to deeper unity; and Jane Fonda, who shares her ways of dealing with change and spiritual growth.

Here is a book that presents each of us---at any age---with an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm. At the same time, it speaks to us as members of a larger society concerned about the world that our children and grandchildren, born and not yet born, will inherit. "We live longer," she says, "but we think shorter." As adults find themselves entering Adulthood II, making the choices that will affirm and complete the meaning of the lives they have lived, they can play a key role, contributing their perspectives and their experience of adapting to change. In our day, wisdom is no longer associated with withdrawal and passivity but with engagement with others and the contribution that Bateson calls "active wisdom."

Baker
& Taylor

An inspiring exploration of a new stage of the life cycle-- "Adulthood II," created by unprecedented levels of health, energy, time, and resources-- of which we have barely begun to be fully conscious.
Evaluates the creative aspects of aging today, relating the experiences of men and women whose lasting health and resources have enabled them to realize a meaningful sense of purpose throughout the second half of life.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307266439
0307266435
Branch Call Number: 920.72 B319cf
Characteristics: x, 258 p. ; 22 cm

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seaxfamx
Jul 20, 2011

One of the most important books I know that addresses the issue of longevity and what we do with the additional years (that improved health care, better nutrition, taking better care of ourselves in general and many other factors) most of us now have when we are vital, healthy, active and have a lot to offer to our families, our community and even our world. Adulthood II, as Bateson calls it, is a whole new stage in human development. It is a stage that both we, who are in it, and the society around us needs to learn about and become much more knowledgeable about. Composing a Further Life is a good first step.

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melanie55
Jan 16, 2011

After waiting several months for this book - what a disappointment! Not well written, lots of very obvious 'insights' and distracting stories from the author's life (like the time she met Marlin Brando as a teenager...). The folks Bateson interviews for this book might be interesting, but not in the way presented: I said, he said, I said, I thought, I said and etc.

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