Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I Feel Like an Old Woman... What Should I Read?
I woke up this morning feeling like an old, old woman. Often I wake up with stiff fingers but today everything is aching. Before I opened my eyes I imagined that my my forearms, from elbow to fingertip, looked like Popeye's, cartoonish and throbbing in pain. I took a break from contemplating my arms to consider my lower back which was screaming at me. About eight inches of snow fell here yesterday and I shoveled for about two hours in the afternoon. I'll be suffering from those two hours for a week, I'm sure, because I'm getting old. My back began complaining during the shoveling and for some reason I was reminded of two of my favorite brothers in literature, the McPheron brothers, elderly bachelor ranchers in Kent Haruf's novels Plainsong and Eventide. I just love those two old guys. If you haven't read Plainsong, it really is a beautiful American novel. Those two got me thinking about another book with a male character who is aging, Marilynne Robinson's Gilead, which I love and have written about in this blog before. So what novels are out there about women confronting old age? Have you got any suggestions? I've read Nora Ephron's fun I Feel Bad About My neck, and by, the way, somehow my neck is sore this morning also, but that's nonfiction. Have you got any recommendations of novels about old ladies for me to read while I sit in my rocker stroking my imaginary cats and nursing my sore muscles?