Author Topic: Her first book at age 80  (Read 105 times)

Hopscotch

Her first book at age 80
« on: November 21, 2022, 02:32:48 AM »
She’s 80 Years Old, She’s Furious, and She Just Published Her First Book
Jane Campbell on why more angry, sexy old ladies is exactly what the publishing industry needs
Slate  Oct 15, 2022

"...I think that old women are kind of othered in a curiously destructive way, in a way that probably old men aren’t. Are they quite human? Are they subhuman? Are they full human beings? And what I wanted to say, from quite an angry point of view, was, yes, old women are totally functioning human beings. And, I will add, if the stories have made any impression at all, it may be because I took my old women, and I put them in standard situations that any 40-, 50-, 60-year-old might find themselves in….”

https://slate.com/culture/2022/10/octogenarian-debut-author-jane-campbell-cat-brushing-book.html
 
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elleoco

Re: Her first book at age 80
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2022, 07:01:01 AM »
Maybe first book at 80 is different, but fiction featuring aged women isn't new and different. Think about Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, and there's a whole bunch of senior sleuth mysteries. I read this one a long time ago - the premise is older women are invisible and can investigate right under other people's noses.

https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Ivy-Malone-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B009LKJZWY/

hungryboson

Re: Her first book at age 80
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2022, 10:28:36 AM »
Helen Santmyer published "...And Ladies of the Club" when she was in her 80s. According to Wikipedia, she had been writing the book for decades, and had little publishing experience some fifty years earlier. The story of its success is quite interesting (condensed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22...And_Ladies_of_the_Club%22):
"The Press published the novel, printed 1,500 copies and sold a few hundred, priced at $35, mostly to libraries. Ladies was awarded the 1983 Ohioana Book Award in the category of fiction, but otherwise gained little attention at the time.
One local library patron, in returning the book, told the librarian that it was the greatest novel she had ever read. Another patron overheard this and checked the book out herself. After reading it, she agreed with the assessment and called her son in Hollywood. Unable to find a copy in California, he ordered one directly from the publisher and agreed that it had great potential. He and a Hollywood friend purchased movie, TV and republication rights. The literary head of the William Morris Agency held an auction for the book, which was won by G. P. Putnam's Sons to republish the book. Before republication, the Book-of-the-Month club chose Ladies as their main selection. Suddenly, Santmyer and her novel were a media sensation, including front-page coverage in the New York Times. The paperback edition, published by Berkley Books in 1985, sold more than 2 million copies between June and September, making it the best-selling paperback in history at the time."
Santmyer died in early 1986 at age 90. It's a moving story.

Vijaya

Re: Her first book at age 80
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2022, 11:39:43 AM »
Really enjoying reading these. Thank you.


Author of over 100 books and magazine pieces, primarily for children
Vijaya Bodach | Personal Blog | Bodach Books
 

LilyBLily

Re: Her first book at age 80
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2022, 02:31:22 PM »
Maybe first book at 80 is different, but fiction featuring aged women isn't new and different. Think about Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, and there's a whole bunch of senior sleuth mysteries. I read this one a long time ago - the premise is older women are invisible and can investigate right under other people's noses.

https://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Ivy-Malone-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B009LKJZWY/

I read that book several years ago. It had an interesting premise and was all too realistic despite the attempt at being fanciful. Kind of a sad book commenting on how even at church she wasn't respected.
 

elleoco

Re: Her first book at age 80
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2022, 03:50:22 AM »
I read that book several years ago. It had an interesting premise and was all too realistic despite the attempt at being fanciful. Kind of a sad book commenting on how even at church she wasn't respected.
There were a couple of other books featuring the same protag after that, and while I liked that first one, the follow-ups were a disappointment. The author pretty much threw away the original premise, and of course all of a sudden this aging woman who is invisible has a handsome old man in her life, etc. Maybe modern audiences want their protags to always have a perfect life land on them. I'm the other way and want realistic stories. Miss Marple knitting in her wheelchair, sure. The invisible old lady who has a handsome, still in great shape, financially secure old guy fall for her? Not so much.