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.
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."