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In the Fullness of Time

In the Fullness of Time

32 Women on Life After 50

In the Fullness of Time is a collection of essays, poems, interviews, and photographs that speak to the experience of aging— the joys, the rewards, and the losses.


Abigail Thomas

Vivian Gornick

Carolyn See

Linda Gravenson

Claire Bloom

Susan Schneider

Elizabeth Frank

Jenny Allen

Laura Furman

Gail Godwin

Katherine B. Weissman

Jane Alexander

Ntozake Shange

Laura Siegel

Frances Itani

Martha Fay

Laurie Stone

Tina Howe

Sharon Olds

Erica Jong

Dr. Christiane Northrup

Helena María Viramontes

Beth Powning

Joan Nicholson

Jane O’Reilly

Marta Caals Istomin

Andrea Marcusa

Paula Fox

Gretchen Haight

Emily W. Upham

Margaret Howe Freydberg

Edna O’Brien
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439169155 | 
  • April 2010
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Read an Excerpt


Linda Gravenson

When this collaboration began, around a coffee table in the Hudson Valley, I was drawn to it from a somewhat different perspective than Emily’s. I had grown up in the 1940s and ’50s, before the maps of tradition were shredded, and had come through some of the losses she was anticipating but also knew of the rewards that can follow in their wake. I’d moved to the country alone with four animals as family, lived without my city neighbors for the first time, learned to drive at fifty-three, and, most important, resumed writing and editing.

I’ve always... see more

About the Authors

Author Revealed

Emily W. Upham

Emily W. Upham

Q. how did you come to write In the Fullness of Time?

A. At age 55 I realized that the 3 most important people in my life were going to die soon. A man who was everything to me was dying, my older husband and mother I would not grow old with. At the same time, I had to put aside my life long profession of performing classical pianist because of many back surgeries. The world was looking unrecognizable and terrifying, and I could not imagine how I would make and survive this transition. So I decided to go to older women slightly ahead of me in this process to see if I could learn from them. It occurred to me that all of my generation, the baby boomers, had arrived at an age in life when losses and major changes were going to be a constant part of our lifes. So I went on a quest. It was a rich and rewarding process for many reasons.

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Linda Gravenson

Q. how did you come to write In the Fullness of Time?

A. I had come through a number of losses and was attracted to Emily's quest for "maps" for this terrain of life after 50. I was eager to bring "change" to our landscape of "loss" - as I knew some of my more significant shifts might not have occured without loss. I've always loved anthologies, particularly personal essays, which are free to explore a subject rich with complexity. We were excited by the range of responses we had to our invitations for essays. As I've said in my Introduction "These are the women I'd want in my lifeboat."

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