Something in our world is changing. In ten years time 60% of us will be over 55. The retirement age is likely to move up to 70; modern medicine ensures that most of us will live well in to our 80s and most of us will choose to do some work, paid or voluntary, while we are still physically able.
Yet older people have, as yet, no role in modern society.
Old age is regarded as an invonvenience, something to be shunned and set apart from our daily lives. In this frank, often funny and always compelling disquisition on ageing, Irma Kurtz sets out to chart the territory through her own and others' experiences.
Along the way she meets a diverse group of people whose insights into their own lives have much to offer a younger generation - from a 90-year-old weekly columnist and a vicar still working in his mid-70s to The Good Granny Guide's Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall and 'London's Rudest Landlord', Normal Balon of the celebrated Coach and Horses.
Kurtz is a fearless investigator of the art of growing old - its pleasures and its griefs - carrying with her the only tool that sharpens with age: lifelong curiosity.