THE NEW OLD ME
My Late-Life Reinvention
Hardcover, March 14, 2017
For readers of Anne Lamott, Abigail Thomas, and Ayelet Waldman, a “lusty, kickass*” post-divorce memoir, one woman’s story of starting over at 60—in youth-obsessed, beauty-obsessed Hollywood.
After the death of her best friend, the loss of her life’s savings, and the collapse of her once-happy marriage, Meredith Maran—whom Anne Lamott calls “insightful, funny, and human”—leaves her San Francisco freelance writer’s life for a 9-to-5 job in Los Angeles. Determined to rebuild not only her savings but herself while relishing the joys of life in La-La land, Maran writes “a poignant story, a funny story, a moving story, and above all an American story of what it means to be a woman of a certain age in our time” (Christina Baker Kline, number-one New York Times–bestselling author of Orphan Train).
PEOPLE MAGAZINE: “When writer Maran’s idyllic Bay Area life falls apart, she picks herself up and sets off to start over—alone, in youth-obsessed Los Angeles, at age 60. Inspiring.”
PBS Facebook page: A Senior Among Juniors. “I’m simply not on the radar of my younger coworkers. I wish it didn’t matter to me. But it does.”
OUT RADIO, WCPT CHICAGO: “Girl! She went through some stuff. And yet it’s a funny book. It’s all about starting over at 60, keeping your sense of humor in times of trouble.”
CAROLINELEAVITVILLE: “Meredith Maran’s fierce, feisty and very, very funny new memoir The New Old Me really is required reading for anyone who feels there are no such things as second acts.”
LAMBDA LITERARY: “This is memoir at its finest...the kind of memoir that will resonate with anyone, regardless of age, who has loved and lost and survived.”
O MAGAZINE: “The exhilarating real-life tale of a divorcée’s escape to Los Angeles. A funny, seasoned take on dashed illusions.”
FORBES.COM: A Senior Among Juniors
ROAR MAGAZINE: “Read Meredith Maran’s bio and you’ll meet a confident person. But read Meredith Maran’s new memoir, “The New Old Me,” and you’ll meet a vulnerable woman. As she navigates the landscape of a La-La Land that has no relation to the movie musical, the author demonstrates how tough it can be to retain your sense of self after you’ve left the woman you loved.”
THE SAN JOSE MERCURY-NEWS: “Former Oakland resident Meredith Maran has a new memoir (about) starting over at age 61.”
NEXT AVENUE: A Senior Among Juniors
PARADE: “Meredith Maran tackles change in The New Old Me. Like many women who can get the senior discount at the movies, Maran found herself in a very different life than the one she’d imagined for herself at 60.”
HUFFINGTON POST: “Meredith Maran’s hilarious memoir gives hope for late-life reinvention. I love this book!”
WASHINGTON POST: “Well-written and smart...It is lovely to see Los Angeles through the author’s eyes...Her friends are bricks, her boundaries are porous, and her heart is big. When she muses, “Maybe I’ve accidentally come to exactly the right place,” we reader-companions vote yes.”
SAN FRANCISCO MAGAZINE: “Former San Francisco Chronicle book reviewer Meredith Maran’s “post-divorce” memoir, The New Old Me, follows her move from the city to Los Angeles as she attempts to start life over again at 60."
KIRKUS: "By turns poignant and funny…a spirited and moving memoir about how “it’s never too late to try something new.”
NEW YORK TIMES: I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.
I love everything Meredith Maran writes. She is insightful, funny, and human, and the things she writes about matter to me deeply. Her memoir, THE NEW OLD ME is a book I don’t just want to read—I need to read it. So does everyone else who’s getting older and wants to live fully, with immediacy and enjoyment, which is to say, everyone.
—Anne Lamott, Some Assembly Required
THE NEW OLD ME is a poignant story, a funny story, a moving story, and above all an American story of what it means to be a woman “of a certain age” in our time. If you’ve ever wondered “where have all the bra-burners gone?”, Meredith Maran will answer your question as she reinvents herself at age 60—in Hollywood, of all places. Any woman who’s ever wondered what life might hold as a modern senior citizen will find much to challenge and reassure her in this absorbing, beautiful book.
—Christina Baker Kline, Orphan Train
How does Meredith Maran do it? How does she know my secret fears about aging, my not-so-secret flaws? Meredith's life-changing writing draws me in and makes me root for her, root for myself, root for all of us who have only two choices: get older or die. I depend on her hopeful, horrible, hilariously heartfelt dispatches from the future (she's just a wee bit older than I). If anyone finds the fountain of youth, Meredith deserves the first sip.
—Annabelle Gurwitch, I See You Made An Effort
“For anyone who has ever had their heart broken and who thought they would never find happiness again, this is the gorgeously insightful, funny, moving memoir of what happens when you find yourself unexpectedly and unceremoniously on your own at sixty, with the happy ever after you expected having disappeared into dust.
Meredith picked herself up, took herself off to Los Angeles, and architected a new - and fabulous - life for herself. I know this not just from reading this lovely book, but from being lucky enough to have had a delicious dinner in the magical garden of her 1930's bungalito, amidst orange trees, tumbling bougainvillea, and wonderful women.”
—JANE GREEN, international bestselling author
Meredith Maran’s soulful, funny, beautiful memoir is a refreshing inspiration to me. I’m ten years younger than she is, wondering what’s up ahead. Meredith’s voice is exuberant, lusty, kickass, full of life. She is my new role model for getting older without getting old. She blazes a trail for us all, showing humans of all ages how to create joy and community for ourselves while maintaining a sense of humor, wonder, and curiosity. This book is a godsend. Hooray!
—Kate Christensen, The Great Man
High time we had a book that celebrates becoming an elder! Meredith Maran writes of the difficulties of loss and change and aging, but makes it clear that getting on can be more interesting, more fun, and a lot more exciting than youth. I love this wonderful book.
—Abigail Thomas, What Comes Next and How To Like It
I might have forgotten to breathe for the entirety of reading these pages, some of the very finest writing I've read in a long time. What you have here is a universal experience -- love and loss, dreams and aging, the heartless indifference of the universe to the securities we so innocently weave around ourselves -- distilled through the singular sensibility of an exceptional storyteller and dramatist. Meredith Maran's question is the cruelest one of them all: How do we mend ourselves after we have been broken? Books are our most intimate and acute means of communication, John Cheever said. If you want to know what he meant, read this book.
—Boris Fishman, A Replacement Life
When Meredith Maran lost her best friend, her money, and her marriage at age 60, she could have thrown in the towel, or gone to bed for a year, or become a bitter, angry woman. Instead she made a new, vibrant life for herself in a new, vibrant city, with a new job, new friends, new lovers, and an old bungalow among the lime trees, which she transformed into a writer’s haven and salon. The spirit, resilience, and hilarity on display in THE NEW OLD ME offers hope for living soulfully and zestfully no matter what life gives us—now, and at every age.
—Ayelet Waldman, Bad Mother
The best memoirs keep you enthralled and leave you thinking. THE NEW OLD ME does both. Meredith Maran’s wrenching but redemptive journey is a heartfelt, wise meditation on the challenges women face today as we age, and the creativity with which we’re facing them. This is a stirring and captivating must-read for humans of all ages.
—Susan Orlean, The Orchid Thief
THE NEW OLD ME, Meredith Maran's memoir about her recent experiences navigating life's sudden shifts and tilts and swerves, is funny, tough, sweet, and always charming.
—Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings
“Meredith Maran is my new role model for getting older without getting old.”
—Kate Christensen, author of the PEN/Faulkner award winner The Great Man