Diana Athill is one of the great editors in British publishing. For more than five decades she edited the likes of V. S. Naipaul and Jean Rhys, for whom she was a confidante and caretaker. As a writer, Diana Athill has made her reputation for the frankness and precisely expressed wisdom of her memoirs. Now in her ninety-first year, "entirely untamed about both old and new conventions" (Literary Review) and freed from any of the inhibitions that even she may have once had, Athill reflects candidly, and sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being oldthe losses and occasionally the gains that age brings, the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. Distinguished by "remarkable intelligence...[and the] easy elegance of her prose" (Daily Telegraph), this short, well-crafted book, hailed as "a virtuoso exercise" (Sunday Telegraph) presents an inspiring work for those hoping to flourish in their later years
The New York Times - Dwight Garner
Ms. Athill's book is welcome and original because she is such a robust, free-thinking, nonmawkish presence on the page. She catalogs the indignities of old age while reminding us how much joy can be sucked out of a physically diminished life, joy that often comes from unexpected places.
The Washington Post - Michael Dirda
To readers Athill delivers far more than modest pleasure: Her easy-going prose and startling honesty are riveting, for whither she has gone many of us will go as well…A refusal to sugar-coat and a commitment to utter frankness, coupled with an engaging style, make Diana Athill's Somewhere Towards the End unusually appealing, despite its inherently cheerless subject.
Firmly resolute that no afterlife awaits her, Athill finds just enough optimism in this world to keep her reflections from slipping into morbidity—she may not offer much comfort, but it's a bracing read.
Noted British editor and writer Athill decided at 91 to “have a go” at writing about the process of getting old....choice pearls sparkling with dry wit for the reader to ponder, reflect upon, and perhaps assimilate.
This is a remarkable memoir, not the least for its honest approach to the end of life.
The New York Times Book Review - Erica Jong
[Athill's] memoir is captivating because of her fearlessness of death, her sense that death is another adventure in her adventurous life.
In 2000, ninety-year-old Doris 'Granny D' Haddock completed her 3,200-mile, fourteen-month walk to Washington D.C. Along her way, her remarkable speeches, rich with wisdom, love, and political insight, transformed individuals and communities and jump-started a full-blown movement.
In this irresistible memoir, the #1 New York Times bestselling author writes about her life and the lives of women today, looking back and ahead - and celebrating it all - as she considers marriage, girlfriends, our mothers, faith, loss, all that stuff in our closets, and more.
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