It’s a cliché that a woman doesn’t begin to become truly interesting until she turns 40.
But as my wife – who is a year or two past that age – always says, “It’s not that stereotypes are never true. It’s just that they’re not always true.”
Or something like that.
Whatever, evidence to support the contention that women become better with age will be on display at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Auntie’s Bookstore when regional writers Kim Barnes and Claire Davis read from the book that they coedited, “Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes From the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty” (Doubleday, 334 pages, $24.95).
The work collected in the book comes from a talented bunch of writers. Barnes, who is known mostly for her memoirs “In the Wilderness” and “Hungry for the World” contributes a piece about her daughter’s leaving home at age 16 (“An Apartment of Her Own”). Davis is the author of two novels, the latest being “Season of the Snake”; her piece (“A Measure of Grace”) tells the story of the hip that she broke falling from a horse.
Other notable contributors include: Julia Glass, whose novel “Three Junes” won the 2002 National Book Award for fiction; Pam Houston, perhaps best known for her story collection “Cowboys Are My Weakness”; and Joyce Maynard, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of the best-selling memoir “At Home in the World.”
And the topics? They range from joy to regret, mothers to lovers, health to the body that is changing “just when you were getting used to the old one.”
“Your body,” the editors write in the book’s introduction. “Our body. Our various selves. We are in this together, joined by circumstance, and by choice. We share our stories over coffee, over wine, over the phone, in letters, online. In the past, our time was a time to whisper, but things have changed, haven’t they?
“These are our stories. Our secrets written out loud.
Happy to. Especially now that I, also a few years past 40, am more capable of hearing.
Books for sale
“Books for all ages will be sold at a five-day book fair beginning Monday at Whitworth College. Proceeds of the fair, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (7 p.m. on Wednesday), will go to benefit Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital (777-3263 or 777-4410).
“The two-day eighth annual Eastern Washington University Friends of the Library used-books sale will run from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the JFK Library on the school’s Cheney campus (359-2264).
“The Deep Dark : Disaster and Redemption in America’s Richest Silver Mine” (Crown, 336 pages, $14.95 paper) by Gregg Olsen was named one of two finalists in the contemporary nonfiction category for the 2006 Spur Award, which is given annually by the Western Writers of America. Olsen’s book, which tells the story of the 1972 Sunshine Mine disaster, tied with “Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America” (Shearwater, 288 pages, $$24.95) by Rocky Barker.
The overall Spur Award winner for contemporary nonfiction was “Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez, 1893-1923” (Cinco Puntos, 240 pages, $26.95) by David Dorado Romo.
Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.
“Poetry Reading Group (230-0950), 3 p.m. today, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington (838-0206).
“Gay & Lesbian Book Group (“Kookaburra Gambit,” by Claire McNab), 7 p.m. Wednesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.
“Literary Freedom Book Group (“The Dante Club,” by Matthew Pearl), 1 p.m. Saturday, Auntie’s Bookstore.
“Mootsy’s Open-mike Poetry, 6 p.m. April 9, Mootsy’s Tavern, 406 W. Sprague Ave. (838-1570).
The reader board
“John Soennichsen (“Live! From Death Valley: Dispatches from America’s Low Point”), reading, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Spokane County Library Argonne Branch, 4322 N. Argonne Road (893-8260); 2 p.m. Saturday, Spokane County Library Deer Park Branch, 208 S. Forest Ave. (893-8300)
“Sam McLeod (“Welcome to Walla Walla,” “Bottled Walla”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.
“Paul Chasman (“The Book of Bob”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.
“Ann Jones (“Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan”), reading, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Auntie’s Bookstore. Note: Organizers are requesting a $5 donation.
“Terry Trueman (“No Right Turn”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Auntie’s Bookstore.
“Kim Barnes, Claire Davis (“Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes From the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty”), reading, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Auntie’s Bookstore.
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