Pelham’s Van Ogtrop shares new perspective on middle-age with book ‘Did I Say That Out Loud?’


“Live with no attachment to outcome.” This is the mantra that Kristin Van Ogtrop follows in her life and her writing. Her new book, “Did I Say That Out Loud? Midlife Indignities and How to Survive Them,” is a testament to that philosophy.

The book consists of a collection of essays that capture the triumphs and mild humiliations of the middle part of life.

According to Van Ogtrop, the phrase came from a friend and she has applied it to her writing process. She began writing down random things that occurred in her life, both positive and negative.

“Middle-age gets such a bad rap and people complain about the things that happen in middle age,” Van Ogtrop said. “One thing that is gratifying about the reception of the book is that it’s a very optimistic view on that phase.”

“It wasn’t until 2018 that with the help of my editor I realized this is an essay collection,” said Van Ogtrop. “I just started out writing for fun and eventually what the book was meant to be took shape.” 

Van Ogtrop is a longtime magazine journalist and has worked at Vogue and Glamour magazines. She also held the longtime position of editor-in-chief of Real Simple magazine. She has written one other book, “Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom,” which was published in 2010. Van Ogtrop lives in Pelham with her family.

Pelham Public Library is hosting a virtual discussion between Van Ogtrop and fellow novelist and Pelham resident Karen Dukess on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.. A link to the event can be found here.