Young Adult Literature--YA, as we say in the lit biz--is a hot commodity nowadays. It's aimed at kids from about 12 to 20. Although most teenagers who read at all read regular adult books as well, it's nice to read books aimed at your age group, books that confront the interests and problems, joys and sorrows of your particular time of life.
Most so-called adult literature features 20-50-somethings mating and splitting up, striving for power and success, rearing children, having mid-life crises, enduring their misguided older relatives. Been there, done that. As an adult over 55, I enjoy literature that depicts the world I know, that dance with death that constitutes the final third of life.
Some appropriate candidates for the Old Adult, or OA, category jump to mind.
Old Adult Novel
Old Adult Play
King Lear. "How sharpter than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child." A foolish old man and his three daughters. No one under fifty should read or see Shakespeare's greatest tragedy. Too grim. Too true. Too disheartening.
Old Adult Poem
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
--Those dying generations--at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.
You said it, brother.
Old Adult Short Story
Old Adult Nonfiction
Reflection, journal, memoir. A trio of wonderful books by three wonderful women writers, all over 55 at the time of writing.
The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty by Carolyn G. Heilbrun
Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton
Coming Into the End Zone by Doris Grumbach
Listing these works has made me hungry to reread them and see if they're as good as I remember.
I plan to add more OAs to this list as I come across them. Please feel free to suggest some of your own favorites.