Wharton, William

Knopf, 1981

book jacket, p. 6

(book jacket): This is a book ‘that makes us know what it is to lose the generations on either side of us, one to adulthood and the other to death–even as it celebrates the universe of possibilities within each individual life.  p. 6: Old people’s home have the smell of corruption—”it’s the combination of smells in a men’s room and an animal shelter.” It’s the smell of decrepitude—of what’s “wasted, worn out, covered up. Smells like this are hard to cover. All the carbolic acid and strong soap in the world won’t do it. This is the smell of death, the going back to earth none of us can avoid.”