Cover image for The art of midlife : courage and creative living for women
The art of midlife : courage and creative living for women
Edelstein, Linda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn : Bergin & Garvey, 1999.
Physical Description:
[xi], 215 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1130 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ1059.4 .E34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HQ1059.4 .E34 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The Art of Midlife illuminates the journey for women who want to create intentional, spirited lives. The book is based on Dr. Edelstein's extensive clinical practice and on interviews with "ordinary," healthy, and active women between the ages of 38-60 years old. She begins with descriptions of the dynamics of midlife, the unique opportunities to reevaluate life, and the need to mourn one's losses. The book continues with real voices, including her own, that recount the reconnection to one's self that is essential. The author faces the difficult issues of staying connected to others while reclaiming one's life and the problems that may occur. The final section of the book recounts the actions and success of women who sought a more authentic second half of life.

Author Notes

Linda H. Edelstein, Ph.D., is a writer and clinical psychologist in private practice in Illinois, and an Associate Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. She lives in Evanston, Illinois, and has two daughters.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Although much has been written about midlife and the psychological changes that happen with it, most of what is published has focused on studies of men. Edelstein, a clinical psychologist, here focuses exclusively on women. Although somewhat aimed at the self-help crowd, this book is a more serious look at the psychology of midlife and how women have successfully dealt with it. The book is divided into three partsÄ"Relinquish the Old," "Reconnect to the Self," and "Refocus the Future"Äand uses interviews with women who have creatively and happily moved into the second half of their lives by relinquishing, reconnecting, and refocusing. This book will be disappointing to readers looking for a quick fix but will enlighten those interested in learning more about this stage of a woman's life.ÄElizabeth Caulfield Felt, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Rejecting the description of women's midlife as a time of loss, Edelstein writes of it as a time of "courage" and "creativity." She organizes her analysis into three stages: relinquishing the old/past; living creatively in the present to reconnect to oneself; and finally, finding the courage to take risks to focus on the future, especially on work, which is important for a woman's self-confidence. In this final stage, when women reconnect, they continue to live in relation to others, but, at the same time, they become stronger individuals, are more comfortable with power, have more self-confidence, and, through self-examination, they develop more authentic selves. Using interviews with clients and her own life experiences, and drawing on the literature on women, Edelstein emphasizes the need to place psychological development into a social context. She examines changes in patterns of work, changes in women's roles, and significant historical and political events. Although ordinary women, her subjects appear to be somewhat nontraditional and are not varied by class, race, or ethnicity in an identifiable manner. All levels. M. M. Denny St. Joseph College

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Part I Relinquish the Oldp. 5
1 Freedom Is Daily, Prose-Bound, Routine Remembering" An Overview of Midlife Creativityp. 7
2 "The Terrible Weight of All This Unused Life" Relinquish the Oldp. 17
3 "Glowing Coals under Grey Ashes" Midlifep. 31
4 "First It Was in Black and White, and Then It Was in Color" Creativity and Insightp. 49
Part 11 Reconnect to the selfp. 71
5 "She Must Braid Us All Together" The Psychology of Womenp. 73
6 "I Am Her Only Novel" Relationships with Parents and Their Dreams for Usp. 91
7 "There's Still So Much I'd Like to See" How We Are Formed by Social Forcesp. 99
8 "Once You Are Real You Can't Be Ugly" Authenticityp. 111
9 "Finding a Fortune in the Lining of an Old Coat" Aggression and Creativityp. 125
10 "The Long Meandering fingers of Ice Will Thicken" Problems in Creative Livingp. 143
Part III Refocus the Futurep. 159
11 "Life Shrinks or Expands in Proportion to One's Courage" Finding Couragep. 163
12 "Don't Dream It, Be It" Turning Pointsp. 171
13 "I Have a Brain and a Uterus and I Use Both" Women and Workp. 181
14 "Let the Beauty You Love Be What You Do" Achievements and Dreamsp. 191
Epiloguep. 201
Bibliographyp. 203
Indexp. 211