The Next Generation"Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Can Change an Adult's Life -- for the Better" (Basic Books)
Psychotherapist Jeanne Safer asserts the taboo idea that losing a parent can be a liberating experience. Lawyers become jazz musicians. A repressed daughter changes her hair and pierces her ears. People lose weight. "Nothing else in adult life has so much unrecognized potential to help us become more fulfilled human beings," Safer writes.
Trekking Toward Recovery
"A Walk to Beautiful," 8 tonight on some PBS stations
This hour-long heartbreaker of a documentary is about rural Ethiopian women afflicted with fistulas. Fistulas are holes in the vaginal wall, caused by prolonged childbirth, that result in chronic incontinence. Sufferers are shunned by their families and villages, and forced to live alone in straw huts. The title refers to the arduous trek some take to Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital for surgery.
You Should Live So Long"Buying Time?"msnbc.com
A special report presents articles and interactive features about the quest to live longer and look younger. A rollover map of the United States reveals that Virginia trumps Maryland and the District in life expectancy. The "How the Body Ages" feature is probably meant to be cute, but it comes off as insensitive. An exaggerated cartoon isn't the best treatment for touchy issues such as osteoporosis and weight gain. (A woman's femur shatters and her body doubles in size.)
-- Rachel Beckman