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The Art of Growing Old: Aging with Grace Hardcover – 12 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books; Reprint edition (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670023450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670023455
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.2 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 484,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Hardcover. Pub Date: 2012 Pages: 192 Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated A groundeaking Approach to aging from one of France's best-known Clinical psychologists.How. should the WE accept Growing Old It's an inevitable progression and yet the in Western Society the very subject of aging is often taboo and shrouded in anxiety and shame. Not anymore. says Marie de Hennezel. an internationally renowned clinical psychologist and bestselling author. Now that our lives are longer and richer than ever before. it's imperative to demystify our greatest fear and cultivate a positive awareness of aging.In this timely and essential book. de Hennezel offers a fresh perspective on the art of growing old. She confronts head-on the inevitable grief we sustain at the loss of our youth and explains how refusing to age and move forward in life is actually what makes us become old. Combi...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Sam Shingleton on 3 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really appreciated reading this book. Much of it is the thoughts of the author regarding her own aging as well as writing the book. I have read two other books by the author which I found excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Positive aging with hope and grace 14 Nov. 2012
By Story Circle Book Reviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In The Art of Growing Old, de Hennezel, a French clinical therapist, writes of positive aging with hope and grace. She writes of the heart--"the heart I refer to is that inexplicable, incomprehensible force that keeps the human being alive, and which Spinoza christened conatus: primordial energy or vital endeavor." She states that a contemplation of one's own death leads to a serene, luminous old age. Denying death and trying to reclaim youth will prevent one from preparing for inevitable changes, thus causing unhappiness and despair.

Perhaps, de Hennezel thinks that we dwell too much on the physical aspects of aging, as she devotes the first four chapters to what she sees as a dominant failing in today's society. From that point on, she writes about ways one can change to become receptive and open to, not only the physical changes, but the positive spiritual, and emotional changes. Especially appealing is her suggestion of small, self-chosen, support communities of elders living close by each other, reminiscent of William Thomas' ideas.

de Hennezel quotes the aged Sister Emmanulle: "Well, you see, Marie, old age is the most beautiful period of my life. I feel as though I am rich from all the encounters I have experienced. Thousand and thousands of people have enriched me, so I have an immense store of capital, and feel responsible for passing on what I have received." De Hennezel goes on to say, "This happiness in growing old must be earned, and nobody can do it for us. It is a question of real work..."

A thoughtful, well-written, well-translated consideration of positive, heartfelt aging.

by Judith Helburn
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not for everyone... 14 May 2012
By nancy a. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a bit much for the ordinary person seeking encouragement in the process of aging. It appears
to be more likely to be read by professionals seeking to encourage clients.
First half is filled with the down side of aging, it gets better toward the end but still seems more for the professional.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
aging gracefully... 18 April 2013
By S. Fox - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can I really do that? I've embraced much of the teachings in the book, and found I had already been doing things the right way all along. So this book helped to encourage me on my way.

I find I smile a lot more, now that I am "old"..
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Real Gem! 4 April 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is a great book, and it should be a must read for all baby boomers. It should also be a best seller and the only thing that's preventing it from becoming one is the price. I purchased it for 14.99 or something like that, and that was steep for a kindle book. I see now that it went down and I'm sure she'll sell a lot more. That said, this book is written with keen intelligence, a great heart and a lot of compassion for the difficult transition people of my generation are experiencing right now. The loss of one's youth is a bitter pill to swallow and she explores this in detail in this marvelous book. As we have to bravely confront the loneliness and terrors of old age, we need all the help we can get. Her book provides that and more, always stressing that it isn't all bad, that they are many rainbows, meadows and rays of sunshine ahead of us yet, and that the exquisite sensitivity we develop with age can also help us live out the time we have left on this earth more intensely and richly. The "fecundity" of our mind as she calls it, is a rich tapestry we've accumulated during our lifetimes, and the key is to accept the final journey with all its aches, pains, and infirmities. It's a process and it will take time, but if we look back with gratitude rather than bitterness over what we've become, we'll end our lives peacefully, perhaps even joyfully. I couldn't recommend this book enough. Her book has helped me personally and I'm very thankful I have it with me to read and reread whenever I need it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Best book I've ever read 20 July 2012
By 1694brian - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As part of the boomer generation, it will be up to us to show the following generations how to enter old age and how to die. This book points the way.
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