Before they are sixty, they are emulating one of the many varieties [of professor]: the crusty and cantankerous; the bald and bumbling; the silver-haired exquisite; the bespectacled and tousled distrait; the freewheeling eccentric; the wide-eyed, latter-day infant, helpless in all mundane matters but possessed of a profound understanding of Sanskrit. By seventy or eighty - and there is no reason, given the pampering they get, why they shouldn't go out for decades - they are convinced they have reached their true flowering and that, whatever their status in their particular fields (though eminence may be assumed), they are, in themselves, rare birds, exceptional cases, worthy of living enshrinement.~p.1, Ever After, by Graham Swift
Whew! Those are two long sentences! An academic, after recovering from a suicide attempt, sits alone in his college room thinking about the people he has lost. The wry and critical voice is compelling, but I can't say much about the story itself just yet, since I've barely started.