Somewhere Towards The End | Granta

  • Published: 02/07/2009
  • ISBN: 9781847081582
  • Granta Books
  • 192 pages

Somewhere Towards The End

Diana Athill

What is it like to be old? Diana Athill made her reputation as a writer with the candour of her memoirs – her commitment, in her words, ‘to understand, to be aware, to touch the truth’. Now in her nineties, and freed from any inhibitions that even she may once have had, she reflects frankly on the losses and occasionally the gains that old age brings, and on the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. This is a lively narrative of events, lovers and friendships: the people and experiences that have taught her to regret very little, to resist despondency and to question the beliefs and customs of her own generation.

Her brilliant book is entirely lacking in the usual regrets, nostalgia and Hovis-ad recollections of old-timers. It is a little literary gem, penned by a marvellous, feisty old character ... What a treasure

Daily Mail

What sets her apart is the flagrancy and wit of her writing ... her memoirs display a vivacious appreciation of the life she has lived and what is still to come

New Statesman

The book is a moving and humorous account of old age, unsparing about its indignities, unflinching from the inevitability that the end can not be many years away, but full of joy at the way life keeps on, at the most unexpected moments, renewing itself

Irish Times

The Author

Diana Athill was born in 1917. She helped André Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name and worked as an editor for Deutsch for four decades. Athill’s distinguished career as an editor is the subject of her acclaimed memoir Stet. She is the author of seven further volumes of memoirs, Instead of a Letter, After a Funeral, Yesterday Morning, Make Believe, Somewhere Towards the End, Alive, Alive Oh!, A Florence Diary, and a collection of letters, Instead of a Book, all published by Granta. Her only novel, Don’t Look At Me Like That, was first published in 1967. In January 2009, she won the Costa Biography Award for Somewhere Towards the End, and was presented with an OBE. She died in January 2019.

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From the Same Author

Diana Athill on Granta.com

Fiction | Granta Books

Don’t Look at Me Like That

Diana Athill

‘When I was at school I used to think that everyone disliked me, and it wasn’t far from true.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 69

Editing Vidia

Diana Athill

‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 69

Lessons

Diana Athill

‘My two valuable lessons are: avoid romanticism and abhor possessiveness.’