Celebrating You Look Good for Your Age

With wit and wisdom, twenty-nine women writers challenge ageism through essays, short stories, and poetry in the anthology You Look Good for Your Age, edited by Rona Altrows. They share their distinct opinions, impressions, and speculations on aging and ageism and their own growth as people. In these thoughtful, fierce, and funny works, the writers show their belief in women and the aging process.

The topic has struck a nerve and the book has found a broad audience. The book has appeared on the Alberta Bestsellers list three times, the Calgary Herald Bestsellers list four times, and the Edmonton Bestsellers list three times. The online launch of the book saw well over 100 people in attendance. If you missed it, you can find the recording from Shelf Life Books, co-host of the launch with Glass Bookshop.

Calgary Public Library will be hosting a hybrid event as part of their Books and Ideas series on October 27 at 7 pm. All are welcome at this event, which will feature author readings and a conversation between editor Rona Altrows and Rosemary Griebel.

Read Alberta published an interview with Rona Altrows, by Uchechukwu Umezurike. Uche describes You Look Good For Your Age as a luminous volume of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry about women and ageism. “This book pulsates with richness and is written with compassion, candour, introspection, and humour, despite that it tackles difficult themes of loss, frailty, debility, disability, degeneration, memory, mortality, and impermanence. It also discusses failure, forgiveness, love, joy, relationship, intimacy, pleasure, and rediscovery.”

We encourage everyone to watch these two-minute readings by individual writers from their pieces on our YouTube playlist:

  • Debbie Bateman reads from “The Art Of The Scarf.”
  • Dora Dueck reads from “How I Got Old.”
  • E. D. Morin reads from “Well Preserved.”
  • Laura Wershler reads from “Aging in Three-Year Increments.”
  • Madelaine Shaw-Wong reads from “Lilly’s Funeral.”

“I returned to the same respiratory therapist for my annual checkup. I told her that her words to me, ‘You look good for your age,’ had inspired a book. ‘Wow!’ she said. ‘You wrote a whole book about that?’ ‘Twenty-nine kick-ass writers wrote it,’ I said. She gave me a thumbs up.” From the Preface

Contributors: Rona Altrows, Debbie Bateman, Moni Brar, Maureen Bush, Sharon Butala, Jane Cawthorne, Joan Crate, Dora Dueck, Cecelia Frey, Ariel Gordon, Elizabeth Greene, Vivian Hansen, Joyce Harries, Elizabeth Haynes, Paula E. Kirman, Joy Kogawa, Laurie MacFayden, JoAnn McCaig, Wendy McGrath, E.D. Morin, Lisa Murphy Lamb, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Olyn Ozbick, Roberta Rees, Julie Sedivy, Madelaine Shaw-Wong, Anne Sorbie, Aritha van Herk, Laura Wershler

“Vulnerability and honesty are found in these pages, and raw power too. Readers will cheer these brave writers on as they refuse to allow stereotypes to smother their voice and experience.” Carissa Halton, author of Little Yellow House

“Just as aging women can be invisible in our society, they’re often invisible to our cultural curators. This collection brilliantly addresses that blind spot, with wisdom, humour, and fine writing.” Angie Abdou, author of This One Wild Life

Author photo credit: Lucy Altrows.