Carole Angier

Cool Clear Burn

Somewhere Towards the End


Granta Books 192pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Tolstoy was wrong. All happy families are not alike; certainly all happy people are not alike. There are so few of them it’s hard to compare. But one thing is clear: Diana Athill is a happy person, and there’s no one remotely like her.

She turns ninety this year – indeed, this month. She was the best literary editor in London for nearly fifty years, during which she wrote four startling books of her own. In her eighties, she has written three more: Stet, about her publishing life, Yesterday Morning, about her lucky childhood, and now Somewhere Towards the End, about old age. It is an amazing late flowering, almost as remarkable as Philip Roth’s, though she would reject the comparison.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Half-way through The Conquest of Water I felt as if I had been subjected to the literary equivalent of excessive c… ,
    • 'Volume five, then, but still no end in sight. Sandbrook is clearly enjoying himself so much he can’t bear the seri… ,
    • 'By the end of the book something so weighty, stylish and impressive has been built up that one feels far nearer to… ,
    • 'Her ensuing psychotic episode is described so convincingly ... that the reader will wonder if Dobrakovová did not… ,
    • 'The perspectives complement and contest one another, amounting to a glorious, atmospheric set of ventriloquisms.'… ,
    • RT : I reviewed The Testaments for . I will not be taking any questions at this time. ,
    • 'The Testaments is, first and foremost, a manual of resistance ... a type of resistance that is organised, articula… ,