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Title: Aging reimagined: Exploring older women’s attitudes to aging through reader response
Authors: Morrison, J
Keywords: Reader response;Ageing;Older women;Reading
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Contemporary Women’s Writing, 7(1), 1-17, 2013
Abstract: Since the 1970s, concern with questions of reception within literary studies has been, at best, sporadic. This essay presents early insights from a pioneering research study, conducted in 2009–10, involving a rehabilitated form of reader-response analysis. Working with 80 volunteers (of average age 70), the study used fiction to create a space of critical reflection on the changing experience of aging. Volunteers were recruited from the Universities of the Third Age, a network of self-help cooperatives for older people: over the course of a year, they read and reflected on a series of fictional texts. This essay focuses on the responses of older women readers to one particular novel, Barbara Pym's Quartet in Autumn. Setting their varied and thought-provoking responses within the changing context of contemporary age-culture, the essay highlights some of the neglected possibilities of reader-response as a mode of analysis capable of shedding significant new light on the gendered experience of aging.
Description: This article is available open access through the publisher’s website through the link below. Copyright @ 2011 The Author.
ISSN: 1754-1484
Appears in Collections:English and Creative Writing
Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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