The New Old
Hosted by Sari Botton

Now that we’re living longer, with new information about how to live better, attitudes about aging have shifted dramatically. It started with the Baby Boomers, and it’s continued with Generation X and Millennials, all of whom are acting much younger for their ages than the generations that came before them. This is reflected in some great new books, and this panel will feature some of them, talking about why these narratives on aging differently are important, and the best ways to go about them: Lyn Slater, author of How to Be Old: Lessons in Living Boldly from the Accidental Icon, and Melissa Giberson, author of Late Bloomer: Finding My Authentic Self at Midlife. The panel will be moderated by Sari Botton, author of And You May Find Yourself: Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo, and editor of Oldster Magazine, which takes a unique approach to covering aging: “Exploring what it means to travel through time in a human body, at every phase of life.”

Sari Botton’s memoir in essays, And You May Find Yourself…Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo, was chosen by Poets & Writers magazine for the 2022 edition of its annual “5 Over 50” feature. An essay from it received notable mention in the Best American Essays 2023, edited by Vivian Gornick. For five years, she was the essays editor at Longreads. She edited the bestselling anthologies Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York and Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York. She publishes Oldster Magazine, Memoir Land, and Adventures in Journalism. She was the writer-in-residence in the creative writing program at SUNY New Paltz in spring 2023.

Melissa Giberson is the award-winning author of Late Bloomer: Finding My Authentic Self at Midlife (She Writes Press). She has published articles in numerous online and print publications, including the Boston Globe, Salon, Kveller, Dorothy Parker’s Ashes, the Gay & Lesbian Review, and Writer’s Digest. Her essay, “Art is the Antidote,” appears in the anthology Art In The Time of Unbearable Crisis.

Giberson, her partner, and their two cats split their time between New Jersey and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Some might know Lyn Slater better as her prophetic Instagram handle, @iconaccidental. With over 750,000 followers, collaborations with iconic brands such as Hermés and Dior, and features by “TODAY,” Cosmopolitan, W Magazine, The Cut, and more, it’d be easy to think that she’s done this her entire life. Yet, 10 years ago—at age 61—Slater was a full-time professor with a PhD and a long career in activism and social work. After taking a night school class about upcycling vintage fashion, she decided to start a fashion blog called “Accidental Icon.” This was the beginning of her risky reinvention as a fashion influencer. In her new memoir, How to be Old: Lessons in Living Boldly from the Accidental Icon, Slater shares her rebellious path to finding success as an iconoclast, battling narrow expectations of aging along the way, and ultimately reckoning with influencer culture when her role becomes more about encouraging consumption than culture change.

Get a Full Festival pass and you’ll get to take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

Bearsville Theater
291 Tinker Street
Sunday March 23, 2024