Carole Angier

Cool Clear Burn

Somewhere Towards the End

By

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

    • Stuck for a gift idea for Father's Day? Subscribe to Literary Review and get a FREE copy of 'An Impeccable Spy' –… ,
    • 'Gone. All gone. The ease, the pleasure, the effortless eloquence' From May 1995, Margaret Forster's withering rev… ,
    • RT : SO excited to tell you about this event! 😆 The amazing digital colourist, will be joining w… ,
    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,