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The Sun Keeps Setting examines in memoir-form the  difficulties of dealing with aging and illness.  Written as a daily journal, journal, thereby resisting outline, it focuses on my eighty-one-year-old father’s 1996 bypass surgery and the effect it had on the rest of the family. It deals with the immediately difficulties of  complex medical decisions, the prospect of long-term nursing home confinement, financial strain and potential ruin, and the inevitable dredging up of the past such crises engender.  I have dwelt at some length on the experience of growing up with my father and consequently define him through my own life.

Being on the leading edge of the baby-boom generation, as the media keeps reminding me,  I am experiencing a complex series of problems most people in my generation will have to face.  My book offers no expertise on aging, Medicare, Social Security, or contemporary medicine.  Those subjects are covered by other sources.  But it does offer a perspective that a huge number of  people in my generation should appreciate, since I’ve come to realize that in many ways I’m more typical of that generation than I had once thought.  The first in my family to attend college, unsupported by family resources but bound to my family in many other ways—not all of them sentimental—I’ve experienced an alienating class shift without a corresponding financial gain.  The experiences portrayed in this book constitute a body of knowledge accumulated  without effort, distinguishing it from the knowledge afforded me by education, and I believe it speaks to whatever heart and soul my generation have.

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