Jul 1, 2021
Not long after his 50th birthday, journalist and perennial do-gooder Steven Petrow began making a list of the stupid things he refused to do when he got old.
This tally—which kept getting longer and longer—proved to be a highly judgmental, not-quite-mean-spirited-but-close accounting of everything he thought his parents were doing wrong.
His list covered all their poor choices, and he personally vowed not to blame the dog for his incontinence (like his dad) — or to forgo a walker because it wrecked his outfit (like his mom). Or to join the chorus of “organ recitals”— that must-discussed litany of aches and pains, surgery and sciatica that’s seemingly so popular in senior circles.
Steven’s new book, STUPID THINGS I WON’T DO WHEN I GET OLD, is equal parts funny, informative, transformative, and at times terrifying—in a GOOD way.
Regardless of your age, STUPID THINGS I WON’T DO WHEN I GET OLD may also be the most entertaining and important book you read this year.
Steven Petrow is an award-winning journalist and book author who is best known for his Washington Post and New York Times essays on aging, health, and civility. He’s also an opinion columnist for USA Today, where he writes about civil discourse and manners. Steven’s 2019 TED Talk, “3 Ways to Practice Civility” has been viewed nearly two million times and translated into 16 languages.
He’s a much sought after public speaker, and you’re likely to hear him when you stream NPR or one of your favorite — or least favorite — T.V. networks. Steven also served as the host and executive producer of “The Civilist,” a podcast from Public Radio International and North Carolina Public Radio WUNC.
A former president of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, Steven is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including those from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, the Ucross Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the National Press Foundation.
In 2017, he became the named sponsor of the Steven Petrow LGBTQ Fellowship at the VCCA, a prize that is awarded annually. Steven lives in Hillsborough, N.C., with his cocker spaniel, Binx Bolling.
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