Composing A Further Life – Mary Catherine Bateson in Celebration of the New Middle Age
November 6, 2010
On December 6, 2010, the online magazine Wild River Review and Labyrinth Books gathered an extraordinary panel of women and men in conversation and celebration of what anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson calls in her new book, Composing a Further Life, the exuberant possibilities of a new stage of the life cycle—Adulthood II. As our life spans have increased, Bateson, daughter of anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, sees late middle age as an “improvisational art form calling for imagination and willingness to learn.” Her affirming study relates the experiences of men and women – herself included – who, upon entering second adulthood, have found new meaning and new ways to contribute to society, composing their lives in patterns once unimaginable for most people.Praise for the book: Composing a Further Life: Picking up where she left off in Composing a Life (1991), anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson interviews six older individuals, from a retired Maine boatyard worker to Jane Fonda, who have accomplished most of their life goals but actively seek new and satisfying ways to live robust lives… —Publishers Weekly Mary Catherine Bateson, Professor Emerita, was Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Anthropology and English at George Mason University from 1987 to 2002. A visiting Scholar at the Center on Aging & Work/ Workplace Flexibility at Boston College, until recently she was president of the Institute of Intercultural Studies in New York City. She is author of With a Daughter’s Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson; Composing a Life; Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the Way Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition; and Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery. She lives in Hancock, New Hampshire. Harriet Mayor Fulbright From 1997 until 2000 Harriet Mayor Fulbright was the Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. At the urging of her husband, Senator J. William Fulbright, Mrs. Fulbright gave her first speech on behalf of the Fulbright Scholarship Program. She has since traveled to numerous countries on all continents and all over the United States to speak about the importance of international education exchange and the pivotal role played by the Fulbright Program. She was Assistant Director of the Congressional Arts Caucus on Capitol Hill and was later appointed Executive Secretary of the International Congress of Art Historians at the National Gallery’s Center for the Advanced Study in the Arts. She has been invited to give talks on such diverse topics as the vital role of international education exchange, arts education and its importance, the life of Senator J. William Fulbright, leadership and human progress, September 11th and its impact, and her life as a cancer patient. Ms. Fulbright has a BA from Radcliffe College and an MFA from the George Washington University and has also received numerous Honorary Degrees from around the world. She is currently writing her memoir.Edmund Keeley was born in Damascus, Syria. He is an author, translator, and Charles Barnwell Straut Professor Emeritus of English at Princeton University. He taught English, Creative Writing, and Hellenic Studies at Princeton for forty years and retired in 1994 as Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English. His publications include Cavafy’s Alexandria, Inventing Paradise: The Greek Journey, 1937-47, On Translation: Reflections and Conversations, Borderlines: A Memoir, and a co-edited anthology, The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present. Awards for his work include the Rome Prize for fiction, the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN-Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation from American PEN. He has served as President of the Modern Greek Studies Association, Vice President of the Poetry Society of America, and President of PEN American Center. In 2001 the President of Greece named him Commander of the Order of the Phoenix for his contribution to Greek culture. With his wife Mary he lives in Princeton, N. J. for three seasons of the year and in Athens, Greece, during the summers. Richard K. Rein is the founding editor and publisher of U.S. 1 Newspaper, Princeton’s 26-year-old business and entertainment weekly with a circulation of 19,000. In the year 2000 Rein launched a sister publication, the biweekly West Windsor-Plainsboro News, which is delivered to 12,000 homes in those communities. U.S. 1 also maintains a website, www.princetoninfo.com, and a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. A 1969 graduate of Princeton University, where he was chairman of the Daily Princetonian, Rein began his professional writing career with the Binghamton, New York, Evening Press. He served as a correspondent for Time magazine before embarking on a freelance writing career that included contributions to People, Money, New Jersey Monthly, America Illustrated, and other publications.
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