My Book World
Diana Athill lived to be 101. She published this book at age ninety, ninety-one. An editor for a long time, she writes here and writes convincingly of her life, not only her old age but her younger life as well: her loves and losses, her miscarriage near menopause, her decision very early on that she doesn’t much care for children (though she mourns the child she loses, demonstrating a complexity of her own character). Somewhere towards the end of this thin tome, Athill states,
So an individual life is interesting enough to merit examination, and my own is the only one I really know (as Jean Rhys, faced with this same worry, always used to say), and if it is to be examined, it should be examined as honestly as is possible within the examiner’s inevitable limitations. To do it otherwise is pointless—and also makes very boring reading, as witness many autobiographies by celebrities of one sort or another” (181).
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