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Dr. Ellyn Lem releases new book on aging

Dr. Ellyn Lem is well known in the College of General Studies as an English Professor and the Honors Program Coordinator. She recently released a new book entitled, “Gray Matters: Finding Meaning in the Stories of Later Life.”

Details on her book can be found on the Rutgers University Press website:

Aging is one of the most compelling issues today, with record numbers of seniors over sixty-five worldwide. Gray Matters: Finding Meaning in the Stories of Later Life examines a diverse array of cultural works including films, literature, and even art that represent this time of life, often made by people who are seniors themselves. These works, focusing on important topics such as housing, memory loss, and intimacy, are analyzed in dialogue with recent research to explore how “stories” illuminate the dynamics of growing old by blending fact with imagination. Gray Matters also incorporates the life experiences of seniors gathered from over two hundred in-depth surveys with a range of questions on growing old, not often included in other age studies works. Combining cultural texts, gerontology research, and observations from older adults will give all readers a fuller picture of the struggles and pleasures of aging and avoids over-simplified representations of the process as all negative or positive.

For the release of her book, Dr. Lem was on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss what it means to age well and how society views aging and our senior citizens. She also has an excerpt featured on Lit Hub you can check out.

Gray Matters: Finding Meaning in the Stories of Later Life can be ordered from local bookstores and purchased on Amazon in hard copy or as an e-book.