Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair turns her attention to the growing trend of late-life divorces in her new book, “Calling It Quits: Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over.”
She was inspired to write the book after reading a magazine survey on late-life divorce in AARP. It hit home for Bair, whose own marriage had ended in divorce after 43 years.
In the book, Bair interviewed more than 400 people, including ex-husbands, ex-wives and adult children, to explore the many reasons why older, long-married couples break up.
She says she found that more divorces were initiated by women, which puts into question the assumptions both that men always leave for younger women and that ex-wives seldom find love again.
In 1981, Bair received the National Book Award for “Samuel Beckett: A Biography.”
She has been a literary journalist and university professor of comparative literature. She also profiled influential Swiss psychologist Carl Jung in “Jung: A Biography.” Her biographies of Ana s Nin and Simone de Beauvoir were also prize finalists, and she was awarded fellowships from (among others) the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations and the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College.