One skill that doesn’t deteriorate with age

Reading and writing can prevent cognitive decline.

When Toni Morrison died earlier this year, the world lost one of its most influential literary voices.

But Morrison wasn’t a literary wunderkind. The Bluest Eye, Morrison’s first novel, wasn’t published until she was 39. And her last, “God Help the Child,” appeared when she was 84. Morrison published four novels, four children’s books, many essays and other works of nonfiction after the age of 70.

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Roger J. Kreuz
About the Author
Roger Kreuz is an Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis. He earned his graduate degrees in psychology at Princeton University. Dr. Kreuz conducts research on discourse, pragmatics, and nonliteral language. He is the coauthor (with Richard Roberts) of "Becoming Fluent: How Cognitive Science Can Help Adults Learn a Foreign Language," "Getting Through: The Pleasures and Perils of Cross-Cultural Communication," and "Changing Minds: How Aging Affects Language and How Language Affects Aging" (all published by the MIT Press). A book on irony and sarcasm will be published in the spring of 2020.