Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes From the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Mar 21, 2006 - Literary Collections - 304 pages
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“How could ‘old age’ be a medical diagnosis when I wasn’t even forty?”
—Lolly Winston

“… if aging is difficult for those of us who were only sometimes cute,” she says, “just imagine how hard it must be for the aging knockouts, the living dolls.”
—Rebecca McClanahan

“I love sex. I love middle-age sex. I love married sex. I'm almost fifty and I've never felt sexier. But damn, it took a long time to get here.”
—Ellen Sussman

“And who is that woman who looks just like me in the mirror behind the bar? Could she be some evil twin, sitting in a place I’d never go alone, acting like a hanger-on, a groupie?”
—Lisa Norris

“… even past sixty (perhaps especially past sixty), women like me feel impelled to stick to the myths we have invented for ourselves.”
—Annick Smith

“Slow down. Don’t be so frenetic. Contemplate on the insights you have gained. Listen to the silence within.”
—Bharti Kirchner

“The young woman’s body I live inside still, that unforgotten home, is a text. It is engraved with memory …”
—Meredith Hall

A collection of blazingly honest, smart, and often humorous essays on middle age contributed by well-known writers such as Julia Glass, Joyce Maynard, Lolly Winston, Antonya Nelson, Diana Abu-Jaber, Judy Blunt, Lauren Slater, and other voices of the baby boom generation.

In the tradition of the bestselling A Bitch in the House, Kiss Tomorrow Hello brings together the experiences and reflections of women as they embark on a new stage of life. Many women in their forties, fifties, and sixties discover that they are racing uphill, trying desperately to keep their romantic and social lives afloat just as those things they believe constant start to shift: The body begins its inevitable decline, sometimes gracefully, sometimes less so…

The twenty-five stellar writers gathered here explore a wide range of concerns, including keeping love (and sex) alive, discovering family secrets, negotiating the demands of illness and infertility, letting children go, making peace with parents, and contemplating plastic surgery. The tales are true, the confessions candid, and the humor infectious—just what you’d expect from the women whose works represent the best writings of their generation. From Lynn Freed’s wry “Happy Birthday to Me” to Pam Houston’s hilarious “Coffee Dates with a Beefcake”; from Ellen Sussman's "Tearing Up the Sheets" to Julia Glass's "I Have a Crush on Ted Geisel," Kiss Tomorrow Hello is a wise, lyrical, and sexy look at the pleasures and perils of midlife.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

Delightful exploration of the territory of invisibility. Some of these essays are bemused, some accepting, some glorifying. All of them ring true in some way or another. The standout for me was the ... Read full review

KISS TOMORROW HELLO: Notes from the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Wide-ranging essays about being female and middle-aged, collected by memoirist Barnes (Hungry for the World, 2000, etc.) and novelist Davis (Winter Range, 2000, etc.).Countering the popular wisdom ... Read full review


Title Page Dedication
Imagining the Volcano BRENDA MILLER
Middle Age All Over Again ANTONYA NELSON
Happy Birthday to Me LYNN FREED
Sources of Pleasure JOAN SILBER
A Measure of Grace CLAIRE DAVIS
Do Not Insert Your Head into the Towel Loop LOLLY
Have a Crush on Ted Geisel JULIA GLASS
An Apartment of Her Own KIM BARNES
Where Theres Smoke JUDY BLUNT
Grandmother Land ANNICK SMITH

A Meditation on MiddleAge Sex ELLEN
Coffee Dates with a Beefcake PAM HOUSTON
A Midlife Episode LISA NORRIS
The So What Days of Moo and Big BEVERLY LOWRY
The Editors

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About the author (2006)

Kim Barnes is the author of two memoirs: In the Wilderness, which won the PEN/Jerard Fund Award and was a finalist for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize, and Hungry for the World. Finding Caruso, a novel, was published in 2003. She teaches at the University of Idaho.

Claire Davis lives in Lewiston, Idaho, where she teaches writing at Lewis-Clark State College. Her first novel, Winter Range, received the MPBA and PNBA awards and her work has appeared in The Pushcart Prize Anthology and Best American Short Stories. Davis's second novel, Season of the Snake, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim, and her collection of stories Labors of the Heart is forthcoming.

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