Women Over 30, Step Aside, Please….

Yeah, I get the picture. But the Universal Law of Youth and Beauty in our society is changing.  However, maybe someone needs to tell the publishing world.  Compelling stories of women aging way past the deadline are popping their stubborn heads up with more force now than ever.  The current movie marquees say it all.  “Still Alice,” an award-winning tale about dementia with the ever-formidable Julianne Moore, age 54 .  “Cake,” with the eternal girl next door, Jennifer Aniston, 46.  And, God bless her, Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods.”  Meryl Streep is 65.

So my little sis Amanda, who is now 44, has just burst upon the literary world with her first book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, a true story she co-authored with me.  A Memoir with Moi.  The story is special not only because Amanda has Down syndrome, but because it is injected throughout with her slapstick, underestimated flair for comic genius.  Despite losing both her parents, and subsequent horrific treatment by some of her siblings, she maintains a dignity that surpasses everyone else in the story, including myself.

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We self-published the effort at end November 2014, and have received an overwhelming positive response from readers.  But our venture into mainstream publishing isn’t panning out the way we hoped.  Among the slew of publishers we have contacted, only one responded so far.  They told us that parents of people with disabilities want to read stories about babies, not people in our age group.  Since then, I am hearing from other sources that the publishing world doesn’t generally acknowledge stories about women over 30.

I knew our story would be an important message to families of people with disabilities, and maybe to families in general.  But I never anticipated having to lobby for the cause of the still-useful, still-significant Middle Aged Woman.  Jeesh, folks, really?  Haven’t we evolved father than this?

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Whomever made the rule that a woman’s life ends at 30 needs to take another look.  We’re just getting started.

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About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
This entry was posted in amanda, books, disability, down syndrome, families, publishing, The North Side of Down and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Women Over 30, Step Aside, Please….

  1. kerryj says:

    But don’t parents of babies with disabilities want to know their babies could grow up to be authors with wicked senses of humour who belt out the national anthem when others let down the team? I would think that knowing all of that plus the cautionary side of your story that parents need to plan well for their grown children’s futures in these cases would be very bloody interesting. Have you been in touch with any national organisations related to Down Syndrome and/or disability to seek advice about publishing houses?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are still in the ring! Yes, reaching out to a lot of sources — the whole process moves at snail’s pace. I’ve gotten input from a small number of parents who have kids with Down syndrome. Contrary to what the publisher thought, they have said yes, absolutely, they are very interested in stories of siblings and things that happen after childhood. At first I thought this was just an easy “out” for one publisher . But as I look around, I see it’s an unfortunate common misconception that women “fade” and are no longer interesting as they age. HA! So much the opposite! Thank you for your insight Kerry. You are a treasure. XO

      Like

  2. kerryj says:

    And as for women over 30 being asked to step aside – one of the hottest series – Outlander – features a romantic couple in their 40s/50s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joan Winters says:

    Keep on keeping on Nancy and Amanda!! Your many fans
    “Got your back.” I have been reading Amanda Quotes for years on the Morgan Horse Yahoo lists and on FB. Her wit, and Nancy’s, is insightful and sadly not what we think we will hear from folks with Down Syndrome. I feel lucky to have been educated by these two amazing women! Remember the advice of the 1960’s? “Don’t trust anyone over 30?” I think for 2015 it should read “Trust only those over 30!”

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    • That’s funny Joan! It’s a step up from, “Trust no one.” 🙂 Actually that reminds me of one of Amanda’s one-liners, when the waitress asked her if we had made her a birthday cake. “No,” she replied. “I can’t trust anybody.”

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