On Being 40ish is the collection that every woman should read and then gift to all of her best friends. The fifteen contributions that make up this slim volume run the gamut: from family to fame, from introspection to injury, from success to solitude. And each voice – favorites like Sloane Crossley, author of The Clasp and I Was Told There’d Be Cake, and Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure – adds depth to the milestone each addresses. Whether it’s looking forward to forty or back at a turning point in the decade, the authors’ perspectives ring true; they’re both personal and universal.
As a queer woman, I was skeptical that these women – straight women with children and corner-office jobs – would speak to me, to my journey, yet I was pleasantly surprised in the commonalities we shared. While I don’t identify with being a mother, having no children of my own, I did identify with the way each mother spent her twenties and thirties building her family and career and now finds herself reflecting. Being on the cusp of my fourth decade, I was surprised and pleased to hear my voice in theirs, to see my struggles in theirs – even if I haven’t spent months in traction after a life-altering injury.
Yes, there were moments when I sighed at the sentimentality in some of their stories, but I also found myself laughing in solidarity and crying when moments pushed their limits. What makes these essays, poems, and drawings appropriate for women of a certain age – an age I find myself approaching inexorably – is that they’re genuine; they’re real; and they’re full of hope. And hope is definitely something I can get behind.
— Shelly Walston
“Like a pep talk from your big sister, favorite cousin and wise best friend. These 15 smart, funny women expertly capture what it's like to get older... A must read for anyone 40ish or beyond.” —Joanna Goddard, Cup of Jo
Fifteen powerful women and writers you know and love—from the pages of the New Yorker, New York Times, Vogue, Glamour, and The Atlantic—offer captivating, intimate, and candid explorations about what it’s really like turning forty—and that the best is yet to come.
The big 4-0. Like eighteen and twenty-one, this is a major and meaningful milestone our lives—especially for women. Turning forty is a poignant doorway between youth and…what comes after; a crossroads to reflect on the roads taken and not, and the paths yet before you. The decade that follows is ripe for nostalgia, inspiration, wisdom, and personal growth.
In this dazzling collection, fifteen writers explore this rich phase in essays that are profound, moving and above all, brimming with joie de vivre. With a diverse array of voices—including Veronica Chambers, Meghan Daum, Kate Bolick, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Sloane Crosley, KJ Dell’Antonia, Julie Klam, Jessica Lahey, Catherine Newman, Sujean Rim, Jena Schwartz, Sophfronia Scott, Allison Winn Scotch, Lee Woodruff, and Jill Kargman—On Being 40(ish) offers deeply personal, often hilarious perspectives across a range of universal themes—friendship, independence, sex, beauty, aging, wisdom, and the passage of time.
Beautifully designed to make the perfect gift, and to be a treasure to turn to time and time again, On Being 40(ish) reflects the hopes, fears, challenges and opportunities of a generation.
About the Author
Lindsey Mead has written for Brain, Child Magazine, Quiet Revolution, Literary Mama, and Huffington Post. She received a BA in English from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard School of Business. She lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On Being 40(ish) is her first book.
"A group of stylishly intelligent women writers — from Meghan Daum to Sloane Crosley to Taffy Brodesser-Akner — reflect on the fears and aspirations involved with turning 40. Think of them as a group of funny birthday drinking companions."
— New York Times Book Review
"Charming, relatable, and wise...Taken as a group, these personal narratives argue that aging is a process of shedding the inconsequential and acquiring a laser focus on the truly essential. Without a hint of preachiness, this is a practical guide to navigating life for anyone who has passed the milestone of 40."
— Publishers Weekly
“If you are, ever have been, or ever plan to be 40(ish), you’ll find this collection irresistible. Drawn from the experiences of some of the best essayists of our time, ON BEING 40(ISH) reveals that our forties can be the best of times, the worst, the saddest, funniest and often the bravest and most revelatory. This will be the book I give every 40(ish) friend this year. —Ann Leary, New York Times Bestselling author of THE GOOD HOUSE
“I’m turning 40 in a few months, so I couldn’t have read this book at a more perfect time. It's like a pep talk from your big sister, favorite cousin and wise best friend. These 15 smart, funny women expertly capture what it's like to get older — from forehead wrinkles to work/life balance to discovering who you really are. A must read for anyone 40ish or beyond and a poignant reminder that the best days lie ahead.” — Joanna Goddard, Cup of Jo
“Candid, often charming revelations from a host of articulate women.” —Kirkus