Mechthild Grossmann, Dorothea Wagner

Better Late Than Never - A Declaration of Love to Old Age

(German title: Besser spät als nie)
ca. 254 pages
Mechthild Grossmann
Foto: Mechthild Grossmann
© Fritz Beck

Mechthild Grossmann is 79 years old and has been a widow for six years. As a housewife, she raised her kids and made sure to pass on an affectionate outlook onto the world to them. She has been living alone in a small apartment for a few years and writes about getting older.

Dorothea Wagner
Foto: Dorothea Wagner
© Fritz Beck

Dorothea Wagner, born in 1990, is the granddaughter of Mechthild Grossmann. She studied at the German School of Journalism in Munich and works as an online and social media editor for Süddeutsche Zeitung. For the column Senior Editor and for this book, she has recorded her grandmother’s thoughts on the big and small moments of getting older.

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A declaration of love to age – and to life

With great humour and a refreshing attitude to life

The successful columns from the Süddeutsche Zeitung now for the first time as a book – with numerous articles that have never been published before


What does being old feel like? Mechthild Grossmann is 79 and enjoys it. In this book, she talks about the big and small moments of getting older. About the wonderful freedom as well as about the phenomenon that friends suddenly want to talk about nothing but their illnesses – and no longer about good books or films.

She talks about pistachio ice cream in Rome, about the new experience of eating a burger, what comforts her after the death of a friend, what sex and love are all about and how much she is enjoying having breakfast in bed in peace and spending an afternoon in sweatpants. Humorous and affectionate, she describes why age doesn’t have to be scary – but that it is actually the best time of one’s life.


»The short, trenchant texts have the makings of self-help.« Badische Neuste Nachrichten

»In the entertaining, often humorous articles with the inviting headlines she frequently emphasises the wonderful aspects of ageing, so that the books becomes an invitation to older people not to let the joy for life and for being old be taken away from them.« Medienprofile

»As short as the texts may be, they are just as powerful. They appear harmless but they continue to take an effect for a long time if you let them.« ü60gutezeiten.de

»A book full of short but trenchant texts to pick up here and there or to read in one go. Texts that linger in one’s mind for a long time if one has ever pondered ageing.« madamewien.at