Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir

by Diana Athill
3.0 23

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Overview

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir by Diana Athill

The New York Times bestseller: a prize-winning, critically acclaimed memoir on life and aging —“An honest joy to read” (Alice Munro).

Hailed as “a virtuoso exercise” (Sunday Telegraph), this book reflects candidly, sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old. Charming readers, writers, and critics alike, the memoir won the Costa Award for Biography and made Athill, now ninety-one, a surprising literary star.

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, 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 old—the 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393076677
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 12/07/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 476,601
File size: 609 KB

About the Author

Diana Athill was born in 1917. After a distinguished career as a book editor, she won the National Book Critics Circle and Costa Biography Awards for her memoir Somewhere Towards the End. In January 2009, she was presented with an OBE. She lives in Highgate, London.

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Somewhere Towards the End 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
JoeyCS More than 1 year ago
A review of this book would definately depend on the age of the reader. Those over 55yr would relate & completely understand some the writers references, but younger readers may only feel compassion for the aging woman. Either way it is well written & you often forget the age of the author. I liked her personality and hope I am that literate at her age!!
Peddada More than 1 year ago
A Magnificently Wise Memoir I cannot presume to review the ultimate reviewer. It is with deep humility that I offer only a personal recommendation on this magnificently wise memoir. Diana Athill writes her memoir with brutal candor, brevity and poise about the inevitable, a destiny reserved for everyone. Her prose, lyrical and sanguine, fashioned upon the editorial anvil that has polished the likes of V.S. Naipaul, thwarts all sentimentality and romanticist propensities. She paints her trials and tribulations of aging into a mirror, in which we see ourselves. It is a catharsis on her sexuality with impish admissions, and the acceptance of sexual dissolution as she travels past the point of no return in her late middle-age. Writing about utterly personal experiences is a sign of comfort with self; particularly, all those weaknesses that the rest of us spend our life trying to keep in the closet. Here in this book, she expounds on the virtue of acceptance of these foibles that we all possess and live fulfilling lives. The book is replete with nuggets of wisdom on various experiences from sexuality, caring for others and their medical maladies, parents' mortality, independence and driving, creative work, having no children to gardening distractions, and most of all, the morality of living. Memoir is a favorite format of mine, especially in the first person. A deft writer like Ms. Athill can open the doors and give us a privileged peek into the labyrinths of her personality and her life. The murky depths of personal experiences of others often reflect our own ironies and offer a comforting affirmation and corroboration of the path we all will follow. Here the author, a lifelong editor of manuscripts and purveyor of proper usage, illustrates her insecurities and inadequacies in an earnest, unadorned and unpretentious prose, interestingly rendering herself strong and content, ready for the last station in life. It is a poignant, yet joyous read in celebration of what we are, and not what we aught to be. I recommend this wonderfully enlightening memoir with utter sincerity. Raju Peddada
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can add nothing to the review herein by Mr Padada; it is spot on. I'll go on to read her other Nook books now.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely scattered and full of uninteresting chapters in the author's life. I bought this book on the basis of a review. I will definately make sure that person's opinion does not influence me again. I've stuck out some bad books, but this one lost me half way through. It won't be joining my library.
sad More than 1 year ago
This book was given a very positive review in People magazine. It was purchased based on the positive review; however, the person who review the book must have read only the first six pages. I wouldn't spend the money on the book--get it from a library if you want it read it.
Fast-Eddie More than 1 year ago
At age 80 I tried my best to read on but I gave up about half way thru.