Books: Out of the Shadows

NOBODY EVER DIED OF OLD AGE by SHARON CURTIN 228 pages. Atlantic-Little, Brown. $6.95.

"The ideal way to age would be to grow slowly invisible, gradually disappearing, without causing worry or discomfort to the young." So writes Sharon Curtin in understated outrage at the many ways in which contemporary American society tries to shun and shut away its older members.

Author Curtin's anger is no novelty in recent literature, though her descriptions of how old people are often treated can be memorable. Observing the impersonal way in which aloof aides at a California...

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