Creativity in Later Life : Beyond Late Style book cover
1st Edition

Creativity in Later Life
Beyond Late Style

ISBN 9781138293793
Published December 3, 2018 by Routledge
294 Pages

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Book Description

This collection begins with two premises: that our understanding of the nature and forms of creativity in later life remains limited and that dialogue between specialists in gerontology, the arts and humanities can produce the crucial new insights that are so obviously needed. Representing the outcome of ongoing dialogue across the disciplinary divide, the contributions of this volume reflect anew on what we share and how we differ; creating new narratives so as to build an understanding of late-life creativity that goes far beyond the narrow confines of the pervasively received idea of ‘late style’.

Creativity in Later Life encompasses a range of personal reflections and discussions of the boundaries of creativity, including:

  • Canonical artistic achievements to community art projects

  • Narratives of carers for those living with dementia

  • Analyses of creative theory

Through these insightful chapters, the authors consequently offer an understanding of creativity in later life as varied, socialised and - above all - located in the cultural and economic circumstances of the here and now.


This title will appeal to academics, practitioners and students in the various gerontological, arts and humanities fields; and to anyone with an interest in the nature of creativity in later life and the forms it takes.

Table of Contents


David Amigoni and Gordon McMullan


The challenges of late-life creativity

  1. Imagining otherwise: the disciplinary identity of gerontology

  2. Ruth Ray

  3. The singing voice in late life

  4. Jane Manning

  5. Creative ageing: the social policy challenge

  6. Susan Hogan and Emily Bradfield


    Rethinking late style

  7. Turner’s last works and his critics

  8. Sam Smiles

  9. Constructing a late style for David Bowie: old age, late-life creativity, popular culture

  10. Gordon McMullan

  11. An ‘old man in the dimming world’: Theodor Adorno, Derek Walcott and a defence of the idea of late style

  12. Robert Spencer


    The varieties of late-life creativity

  13. Late-life creativity: assessing the value of theatre in later life

  14. Miriam Bernard and Michelle Rickett

  15. Late-life creativity: methods for understanding arts-

  16. generated social capital in the lives of older people

    Jackie Reynolds

  17. ‘It’s play, really, isn’t it?’: dress, creativity, old age

  18. Hannah Zeilig and Anna-Marie Almira

  19. Visual diaries, creativity and everyday life

  20. Wendy Martin and Katy Pilcher

  21. Self, civic engagement and late-life creativity

  22. Angela Glendenning

    Narrating dementia

  23. A critical narrative on late-life creativity and dementia: integrating citizenship, embodiment and relationality

  24. Pia Kontos and Alisa Grigorovich

  25. ‘The artistry of it all’: narrating The Tempest, dementia and the mapping of identity in a Manchester extrincare housing scheme

  26. Liz Postlethwaite

  27. Terry Pratchett’s Living with Alzheimer’s as a case study in late-life creativity

  28. Martina Zimmerman

  29. Narratives as talking therapy: research with Sikh carers of a family member with dementia in Wolverhampton

  30. Karan Jutlla


    Old age, creativity and the late city

  31. ‘Work, work, work and full steam ahead’: Ian McKay and the conserving radicalism of the Gorton Visual Art Group, public artists in later life

  32. John Miles

  33. The late Peter Rice: late-style stories of ageing and the city in A Bright Past for Stoke on Trent

David Amigoni




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David Amigoni is Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise and Professor of Victorian Literature at Keele University, UK

Gordon McMullan is Professor of English at King’s College London, UK; and Director of the London Shakespeare Centre