WATCH: Louise Aronson on Transformation and Redefining Aging
Bay Area Book Festival #UNBOUND Presents a Conversation Moderated by Jeneé Darden
“Old age” has been defined as beginning between ages 60 and 70, meaning most people spend more of their lives in elderhood than they do in childhood. Despite the fact that we’re beginning to live longer, more fulfilling lives, many of us dread entering our golden years. But what if we had another way of approaching this richly complex phase of life? Louise Aronson, New York Times bestselling author, geriatrician, and Professor of Medicine at UCSF, recently sparked discussion with her necessary, clear-eyed Times essay on the perceived value of elders’ lives in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Times article was a fitting complement to Elderhood, a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. In this illuminating and incisive book, which has drawn comparisons to Oliver Sacks as well as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, Aronson uses stories from her own life and experience with patients, as well as history, science, and pop culture, to illustrate a new, realistic, and groundbreaking approach to aging. This conversation between Aronson and KALW reporter Jeneé Darden promises to be a virtual hour of hope, connection, and frank discussion on what elderhood really is, and what it has the potential to be.
“My biggest message is: when you’re old you’re still a human being, with everything that entails, good things and bad things.”
The Bay Area Book Festival is a world-class annual literary celebration in Downtown Berkeley, attracting 25,000 attendees and featuring 250 authors in 130 programs. #UNBOUND, the year-round virtual branch of the Festival’s celebrated programming, amplifies bestselling and emerging voices across all genres, with a focus on social justice and diversity. We believe that books, and smart conversations about them, build bridges.
Louise Aronson, Elderhood · Jeneé Darden, KALW journalist