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[Perspectives] Not much to say really

When I was collecting autobiographical stories for a project called Showing Your Age, 86-year-old Joan began our conversation by saying, “there’s not much to say really”. She then talked about her life for several hours. Other people’s responses followed the same pattern: hesitation, then a pouring out of intriguing, humorous, and heart-breaking recollections of individuals weighing up their lives. The book that came out of this project, Not Much To Say Really, was a poetic and artistic account of my extended conversations with these patients.