Aug 13 / Simcha

Old Age is a Slow Surprise (R. Banks)

The novel The Darling by Russell Banks (HarperCollins, 2004) is told in the voice of Hannah Musgrave, the ultimate privileged child of the 1960s, a former Weatherman sought by the FBI, widow of a minister in the Liberian government, and caretaker of threatened chimps.  The book begins with Hannah’s decision to return to Liberia in her late 50s. “We return to a place,” she writes, “in order to learn why we left.”

The following is Hannah’s magnificent description of aging and of death, as her story unfolds in the book’s opening pages.  

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