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A Change in Plans

Ian Frazier reviews John Darnton’s Almost a Family: A Memoir in the current issue of The New York Review of Books. Ron’s View readers will know that I’m a big fan of Frazier. I read all his books, his short pieces in The New Yorker, and his New York Review pieces. But Joel got to this one before I did. He was thus able to pass on to me the warning contained in the review’s opening sentences:

An important thing to know about memoirs is that although there are a lot of them already, there will soon be more. Seventy-six million baby boomers are reaching retirement age. Many of us own computers, and we find ourselves fascinating.

Joel didn’t have to explain why he thought this passage was relevant. He recognized me, I knew he recognized me, and he knew I would recognize myself. At least he was reassuring. When I rued that I was too late, he urged me to hurry up and get in ahead of the tide.

As for Frazier, he saw this coming long ago. He’s my age. We were college classmates. And he had the prescience to publish his memoir in 1994.

Now what will I do when I retire?

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Categories: Life, Writing
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