A Long Time Coming
“As a provocation, A Long Time Coming is reasoned and impassioned in roughly equal measure. Joosten calls for a fundamental recalibration of the way Australians think about growing old, and the way we expect and imagine the elderly will and should live.”
- Patrick Allington, Australian Book Review
A powerful collection of essays exploring what it means to grow old in our youth-obsessed world.
To live a long life should be a joy; to be old should not be a burden. With improved health care and higher standards of living, each generation is living longer than the last. Governments see our ageing population as an imminent disaster, and old age as a medical problem. We are encouraged to remain active, stay healthy, and work longer - in short, to refuse becoming old. But if living longer is really about staying young, do we risk turning a blind eye to issues facing the elderly?
Weaving interviews with research and memoir, Joosten undertakes a timely and clear-sighted investigation into the housing crisis as it affects older people, the politics of nursing-home care, the difficulties of dementia, support services for Indigenous Australians, and how the burden of caring for others can fall disproportionately on women.
Moving, passionate, and urgent, A Long Time Coming is a call for empathy in a society that valorises youth and self-reliance - a profound reminder that everyone has the right to be old.
A work that deserves high praise for the
persuasive way in which Joosten crafts her arguments toward greater understanding and compassion for older Australians. It’s an exceptional piece of writing, one that will provoke discussion, challenge opinions and, hopefully, inspire change.
Heath Chamerski, Right Now
Joosten writes with unvarnished clarity and empathy; the combination cuts through like a laser to what is most essential and urgent, most shocking and distressing about the current state of things.
Caroline Baum, Booktopia
With a novelist's feel for the texture of life as it is lived, Joosten takes us to the Tiwi Islands where Indigenous people live in aged care that is not cut off from the rest of the community; grapples with negative attitudes to the aged female body; explores the liberation that growing older can grant women, in particular; and reflects on how literature can connect us with the inner world of those experiencing dementia.
Fiona Capp, The Age