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The Middlepause


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About the Author

Marina Benjamin is a writer and editor. Her most recent books are The Middlepause, Rocket Dreams, shortlisted for the Eugene Emme Award, and Last Days in Babylon, longlisted for the Wingate Prize. As a journalist, she's written for most of the British broadsheets and served as arts editor at the New Statesman and deputy arts editor at the Evening Standard. She is currently a senior editor at the digital magazine Aeon.


'Women do a lot of things to mark turning fifty. Go to a resort! Have a bang-up party! Far, far better: read The Middlepause.'

* Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman *

'Emotionally honest.'

-- Tom Gatti * New Statesman *

'This tender and thoughtful book calls for an 'invisible revolution' in our attitudes to women's ageing. In a deeply personal meditation Benjamin places body knowledge and luck alongside grieving and family history; intimate reflection with literary exemplar; communion with ghosts sadly close to the painful real. The Middlepause is a wise, lucid and beautiful plea for more candid discussion of the time-wrought transformations of the female body.'

-- Gail Jones, author of A Guide to Berlin

'We are not supposed to beguile, we the middle-aged women. But with The Middlepause, Marina Benjamin does that: she beguiles and entrances with a lyrical, thoughtful, erudite, and always lucid exploration of the middle years of her life, and what they mean to her, and what middle-aged women mean to society.'

-- Rose George, author of The Big Necessity

'Beautifully written and so thoughtful, The Middlepause made me think about fleeting time and what is important to me. I couldn't put it down.'

-- Amy Jenkins, author of Honeymoon and creator of This Life

'Intimate, open-hearted, clever and kind, this book is a companion which, by naming the shadow fears, finds the truer gold.'

-- Jay Griffiths, author of Kith

'A candid and beautifully written "wrinkles and all" meditation on the middle years with all their dilemmas and challenges ... [Marina Benjamin] seeks a new vision of how to be middle-aged happily and harmoniously without sentiment or delusion.'

-- Caroline Sanderson * The Bookseller *
'Beautifully composed and intensely sympathetic, The Middlepause: On Turning Fifty is wry, personal and intimate, while still being something of a road map for others.' -- Viv Groskop * The Sunday Telegraph *

'Both a deeply personal reflection and an elegantly philosophical navigation of the transitions, changes and challenges of growing older, The Middlepause is written with candour and cosmopolitan wisdom. An essential companion for women who want to journey forward with grace and confidence.'

* Caroline Baum, Booktopia *

'Deeply moving and gorgeously written ... Marina Benjamin leads us on a journey into the heart of age-ist darkness, then upwards into a light of self-understanding as she faces that most difficult of all challenges - not death but getting old.'

-- Margaret Wertheim, author of Pythagoras' Trousers

'A 21st-century meditation on middle age ... The Middlepause is erudite, with a lengthy list of notes and ideas for further reading, but it is also personal - part memoir, part unflinching travelogue through the unsettling physical and mental challenges of the menopause ... Honest and uplifting.'

* FT *

'Lucid and sophisticated ... A restrained but wonderful guide to the convulsive changes of 50 and over ... This is a book that yields valuable insights on almost every page.'

-- Melissa Benn * The Guardian *

'Benjamin takes us into her inner world - it's instructive, and very moving.'

-- William Leith * Evening Standard *

'A candid look at what it means to be 50 today ... Warm, wise and beautifully written.'

* Good Housekeeping *

'Benjamin has conjured something philosophically poised and poetic from an unlikely subject, as much about the sanctuary of place and coming to terms with time, seasons and life's cycles, and all rendered with clarity and calm.'

* Saturday Age *

'An honest mid-life reflection ... In this elegantly written, extended essay, [Marina Benjamin] explores what it means to have lived for half-a-century, and contemplates what may be left in perhaps another half-century.'

* The Jewish Chronicle *

'A personal meditation on the losses and gains of facing the middle years ... [Marina Benjamin] offers hope and heart to others facing the same life transition.'

* Irish Examiner *

'Benjamin combines personal experience with more objective scientific and historical accounts of ageing ... Elegantly written.'

* Prospect *

'This is a measured and beautifully written critique of menopause and middle age that pre-, mid-, and postmenopausal women will find eminently relatable, and that those who love and care for them will likewise appreciate.'

* Publishers Weekly (starred review) *

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