1st Edition

Creativity in Later Life Beyond Late Style

Edited By David Amigoni, Gordon McMullan Copyright 2019
    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.


    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





    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