Late bloomers

March 08, 2018

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Toni Morrison in 2004.

Toni Morrison in 2004.


Photo illustration by Studio 360. Photos via Jeremy sutton-hibbert / Alamy Stock Photo, Patrick Nouhailler/CC BY 2.0

Some of our favorite artists who hit their stride when the blush of youth was long gone. Hilton Als talks with Toni Morrison, who didn’t write her first novel until she was 39. David Chase was a writer and producer for television for decades, most famously as the creator of “The Sopranos,” but he didn’t fulfill his real ambition, to be a filmmaker, until he was in his 60s.

Today, Philip Glass is one of the best known living composers, but he tells Kurt Andersen how, until he was nearly 40, he was driving a cab to make ends meet. And a listener, Maureen Sestito, reveals how a novel inspired her to begin med school — when she was already in her 30s.

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