Thursday, February 23, 2012

What is Patricia Cohen reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Patricia Cohen, author of In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age.

Her entry begins:
When I was working on my book, I didn’t have much time to read fiction, so I have really indulged since I finished. I thought Amy Waldman’s book The Submission was wonderful. In her story, a committee holds a contest for a design for the 9/11 Memorial and the winner turns out to be a Muslim. Waldman, who was a reporter for The New York Times, uses her incredible reportorial skills and observational powers to bring this story to life. Having covered New York City politics, I can...[read on]
About In Our Prime, from the publisher:
From the New York Times reporter whose beat is culture and ideas comes a fascinating, revelatory, and timely social history of the concept of middle age. For the first time ever, the middle-aged make up the biggest, richest, and most influential segment of the country, yet the history of middle age has remained largely untold. This important and immensely readable book finally fills the gap. In Our Prime is a biography of the idea of middle age from its invention in the late nineteenth century to its current place at the center of American society, where it shapes the way we view our families, our professional obligations, and our inner lives. Patricia Cohen ranges over the entire landscape of midlife, exploring how its biological, psychological, and social definitions have shifted from one generation to the next. Middle age has been a symbol both of decline and of power and wealth. Explaining why, Cohen takes readers from early-twentieth-century factories that refused to hire middle-aged men to twenty-first-century high-tech laboratories where researchers are currently conducting cutting-edge experiments on the middle-aged brain and body.
Learn more about the book and author at the In Our Prime website.

Cohen is a reporter and editor for The New York Times, and has worked at Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, and New York Newsday.

Writers Read: Patricia Cohen.

--Marshal Zeringue