Before I Leave: Wisdom from the Stories of Six Women Over Eighty

The award-winning book by author Jenney Egertson

Silver medal winner of a 2019 Independent Publisher Book Award.


About Before I Leave

In July of 2000, Jenney Egertson met 80-year-old Maude Kelly. The following day, Jenney had an idea that felt more like a command: give Maude and a diverse group of women over the age of 80 a voice by writing a book to capture their stories and advice.

“As we increasingly spirit away our elders, sometimes feeling burdened by them, Jenney Egertson rejoins and welcomes them to our kitchen tables for a heart-to-heart. And the essential message that emerges from these conversations is how to live.”  

-Kyle Radcliffe, co-author of Sweet as Love and Stories that Could be True

Jenney for Bios and Web-1.jpg

what people are saying

“Jenney Egertson’s Before I Leave is more than simply a transcription of interviews with older women—although it does bring their voices to life with uncanny vividness. It is also a moving meditation on the relationship between youth and age, on the manner in which memory enriches experience, and on the desire for permanence side by side with the recognition of change.”

— Mark Looker, Professor of English, author of Atlantic Passages

Jenney in the News

july 24 interview on northern community radio:

It’s a Woman’s World

What’s Next? With Diana Pierce