A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America

Front Cover
Penguin, 2008 - Social Science - 371 pages
1 Review
Old age in America is not what it used to be

In 1994 New York Timeswriter Dudley Clendinen’s mother—a Southern matron of iron will but creaking bones—sold her house and moved to Canterbury Tower, a geriatric apartment building with full services and a nursing wing in Tampa Bay. There she landed in a microcosm of the New Old Age. Canterbury was filled not just with old Tampa neighbors but also with strangers from across the country. Wealthy, middle class, or barely afloat; Christian, Jewish, or faithless; proud, widowed, or still married; grumpy or dear—they had all come together, at the average age of eighty-six, in search of a last place to live and die.

A Place Called Canterburyis a beautifully written, often hilarious, deeply moving look at how the oldest Americans are living with the reality of living longer. Peopled by brave, daffy, memorable characters determined to grow old with dignity—and to help one another avoid the dreaded nursing wing—A Place Called Canterburyis a kind of soap opera. Likewise, it is a poignant chronicle of the last years of the Greatest Generation and their children, the Boomers, as they are drawn into old age with their parents. A Place Called Canterburyis an essential read for anyone with aging parents and anyone wondering what their own old age will look like.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Absolutely loved A Place Called Canterbury

User Review  - growly - Overstock.com

I loved everything about this book! So many great personalities. The author did a wonderful job at portraying life at Canterbury. I want to live there many years from now!. I gave it to my sister to ... Read full review

Contents

Goodbye Mother Hello i
1
The Importance of the Moment
24
A Place Unto Itself
43
A Reason to Be Alive
61
The Cocktail Hour
78
Last Communion
89
The Dining Room Waltz 1 00
100
In Case of Fire 1
114
Laugh Even If Your Heart Is Breaking
194
Sleeping with the Sweetso
219
When They Were Children
229
When They Were in Love
244
Body Parts
258
War and Survival
279
Cant Find My Wife
293
The BestLaid Plans
303

Going Home
124
The Plumbing Problem
137
Meanwhile Back in the Tower m
152
Looking for a Man
168
Sex and Satisfaction
184
Miss Osama
327
He Wants Our Ashes
336
Hello Mother Goodbye
345
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
367
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Dudley Clendinen is a former national reporter and editorial writer for The New York Times. He is the editor of a book of essays, The Prevailing South, and the author of the text for a book of photographs, Homeless in America. He is coauthor of Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America.

Bibliographic information