A Diary of My Sixty-First Year
Sixty is a report from the front, a dispatch from the Maginot Line that divides the middle-aged from the soon to be elderly. As Ian writes, "It is the age when the body begins to dominate the mind, or vice versa, when time begins to disappear and loom, but never in a good way, when you have no choice but to admit that people have stopped looking your way, and that in fact they stopped twenty years ago."
Ian began keeping a diary with a Facebook post on the morning of February 4, 2014, his sixtieth birthday. As well as keeping a running tally on how he survived the year, Ian explored what being sixty means physically, psychologically and intellectually. "What pleasures are gone forever? Which ones, if any, are left? What did Beethoven, or Schubert, or Jagger, or Henry Moore, or Lucien Freud do after they turned sixty?" And most importantly, "How much life can you live in the fourth quarter, not knowing when the game might end?
With formidable candour, he tries to answer this question: "Does aging and elderliness deserve to be dreaded--and how much of that dread can be held at bay by a reasonable human being?" For that matter, for a man of sixty, what even constitutes reasonableness?
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BARNES & NOBLE
THE BOY IN THE MOON
A Father's Search for his Disabled Son
Walker Brown was born with a genetic mutation so rare that doctors call it an orphan syndrome: perhaps 300 people around the world also live with it. Walker turns twelve in 2008, but he weighs only 54 pounds, is still in diapers, can’t speak and needs to wear special cuffs on his arms so that he can’t continually hit himself. “Sometimes watching him,” Brown writes, “is like looking at the man in the moon – but you know there is actually no man there. But if Walker is so insubstantial, why does he feel so important? What is he trying to show me?”
In a book that owes its beginnings to Brown’s original Globe and Mail series, he sets out to answer that question, a journey that takes him into deeply touching and troubling territory. “All I really want to know is what goes on inside his off-shaped head,” he writes, “But every time I ask, he somehow persuades me to look into my own."
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WHAT I MEANT TO SAY
The Private Lives of Men
Are the men you know obsessed with strange details? Do they sometimes seem to have less interest in you than they do in box scores and the history of the bolo tie? Do they become sexually aroused at unusual moments ― perhaps while reading a history of the Battle of Trafalgar? Why are they fixated on cars and heroes and strippers and silence? Do they ever think about anything but sex? Are they ever faithful? And how can a man be so headstrong about not asking for directions and such a wimp about pain?
What I Meant to Say: The Private Lives of Men answers these and other questions about the male animal ― whether you’re a woman seeking enlightenment, or a man looking for company. After all, there’s a lot to clear up. Thanks to the women’s movement and gay liberation, contemporary manhood has changed beyond recognition in the past forty years. At the same time, the age-old preoccupations of men ― their unreachable loneliness, the unstoppable physicality of their bodies and desires ― remain as bewildering and mysterious as ever.
What I Meant to Say presents new and unpublished work from twenty-eight of Canada’s most thoughtful and articulate male writers, as they map the uncharted terrain of men’s private lives. At once touching and hilarious, insightful and provocative, What I Meant to Say is a personal tour of the secret male psyche, but this time it’s open to men and women alike.
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