Health: Brain Savers

Want to stay mentally sharp as you get older? Here are steps you can take

Literary biographer Leon Edel used to keep a small painting by Bloomsbury artist Duncan Grant hanging just inside the doorway of his home office in Honolulu. "Grant painted that when he was 90," Edel, then 72, told an interviewer. "I keep it there to remind myself that a man can be productive at 90."

By the time of his death, Edel had edited his Pulitzer prizewinning biography of Henry James from its original five volumes down to two and then to a single volume and had written four more books, including his war memoirs. He died four days short of his...

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