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Sixty: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?
Written by Ian Brown
Published byRandom House Canada


 

Henry James once said that we should “grant the artist his donnée”—in other words judge writers only on what they have set out to do and how well they have achieved this aim. In Sixty, Ian Brown opens up his diary to us, reflecting on what it means to have entered his seventh decade, nothing more, nothing less. The result is a smart, witty compendium of his thoughts and those of others. Ian Brown is, by turns, hilarious and sad, and the result is both engaging and moving.

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From the Publisher’s Summary: Sixty: The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning? is a report from the front, a dispatch from the Maginot Line that divides the middle-aged from the soon to be elderly. The author 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, he 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?”

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Ian Brown

is an award-winning author and a feature writer for The Globe and Mail. His most recent book, The Boy in the Moon: A Father's Search for His Disabled Son was a national bestseller and a New York Times and The Globe and Mail Best Book. It won the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Trillium Book Award. He lives in Toronto.