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Diana Athill’s books include Yesterday Morning and Stet: An Editor’s Life. For fifty years she was the editorial director of André Deutsch, where she worked with such authors as Jean Rhys, Gitta Sereny and V. S. Naipaul. Her memoir, Somewhere Towards the End, was published by Granta Books in January 2008.
Written in an even more vivid and direct style than her celebrated memoirs, Diana Athill's letters to the American poet Edward Field reveal a sharply intelligent woman with a brilliant sense of humour, a keen eye for the absurd, a fierce loyalty and a passionate zest for life. This intimate correspondence spanning thirty years covers her final years as an editor at Andre Deutsch, her retirement and immersion in her own writing, her growing fame and encroaching old age, and gives a fascinating insight into a life fully lived. Edited, selected and introduced by Diana Athill, and annotated with her own delightful notes, this funny, revealing and immensely readable collection will bring enormous pleasure to her many thousands of readers.
Santa may not welcome this hefty four-books-in-one-volume on your wish-list, but that’s what he is paid for. And he will be spreading the joy. Diana Athill is quite simply one of our most captivating and truth-seeking memoir writers, and this collection spans most of her 92 years: her playful childhood recollections, Yesterday Morning; Athill’s deeply sad love affair years, Instead of a Letter; her career as a hugely influential books editor, Stet; and her blisteringly wise and straightforward thoughts on getting older and more savvy, Somewhere Towards The End: ‘Regrets. I say to myself. What regrets?’
Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2008. The sixth instalment of this great lady’s life. She was the backbone of the publishing house Andre Deutsch and even though, being in the business, I am naturally drawn to this, I do heartily recommend it to everyone. She has a fluidity to her writing, a view of life which is so refreshing and an attitude to old age, which is what is discussed here, that should be a template for us all. Costa Book Awards 2008 Judges' comment: "A graceful, clear-sighted and brave memoir entirely lacking in self-pity - this is a wise and wry take on exactly what it's like to grow old." Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 8 January 2009.