Coming into the End Zone: A Memoir

Grumbach, Doris

Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction

Genre: Memoir

Annotated by:
Aull, Felice
  • Date of entry: Jan-31-1997


Doris Grumbach, novelist and critic, experienced the landmark of her seventieth birthday as a traumatic event. She resolved to keep a diary during the months surrounding this time, both to record her "despair" and to seek answers to "what has my life meant?" The result is a relentless reflection on the losses associated with growing old, and on the loss of civility associated with contemporary urban life. Yet there is the liberation which age allows, in setting priorities and discarding the trivial. Ever observant and informed, Grumbach’s commentary on the present and the past is both interesting and moving.


Grumbach wrote a sequel, Extra Innings: A Memoir (W.W. Norton, New York, 1993). It chronicles reactions to the earlier memoir, and her response; a move to rural Maine and life there with her longtime female companion (Grumbach was once married and has adult children); and, above all a getting on with the rest of life. Writing both literally and metaphorically, she says: "I am now prepared to see my life as a journey to arrive here."



An important excerpt from this memoir appears in the 1995 edition of On Doctoring (eds. R. Reynolds & J. Stone, Simon & Schuster, New York).


W. W. Norton

Place Published

New York



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