Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Somewhere Towards the End

I just finished reading Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir written by Diana Athill when she was 89. It is just what it says, a memoir about being at the end of life, written by someone who has had a lively and vigorous life, full of joy and strangeness. Athill was for many years an editor at Andre Deutsch, a fine publishing firm in London. Her earlier memoir, written when she was a mere 82, is called Stet, and it is on my list to read as well.

This is not one of those hearty, backslapping memoirs about hale nonagenarians who are still bounding over peaks and tiring out youngsters. Nope. This is much more real, but neither is it a recounting of hospital visits and gruesome operations. Athill has pretty good health, but hey, she is old, and deserves her rest. She has lived, and she has payed attention, and her thoughts are well-written, and worth reading.

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