Diana Athill corresponded with the American poet Edward Field for over thirty years, freely sharing jokes, pleasures and pains with her old friend.
Edited, selected and introduced by Athill, and annotated with her own notes, these collected letters reveal a sharply intelligent woman with a keen eye for the absurd, a brilliant turn of phrase and a wicked sense of humour. Covering her career as an editor, her immersion in her own writing and her reactions to becoming unexpectedly famous in her old age – and including gossip about mutual friends and uninhibited accounts of her relationships – Instead of a Book gives a wonderful description of a woman growing older without ever losing her zest for life.
‘These are vivid reports on life in late 20th-century Britain as experienced by a writer, editor, daughter, partner and pensioner with an extraordinarily ‘beady eye’ on human relations and a phenomenal capacity for making the most of everything that comes her way’ Alexandra Harris, Guardian
An Attraction of Opposites
Ghali wrote his novel while living in poverty in Germany. The book was published in 1964 by André Deutsch and, as a result, Ghali met Diana Athill, who worked at Deutsch and is now best known for...Read more
There is no book more haunting than W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. I would not advise anyone unfamiliar with his earlier books to make it their introduction to his work, because his decision to do...Read more