A Memoir

eBook - 2000
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A New York Times Notable Book: This memoir of a career in book publishing "should please anyone who cares about twentieth-century literature" ( The Washington Post Book World ).

For nearly five decades, Diana Athill edited (nursed, coerced, coaxed) some of the most celebrated writers in the English language, among them V. S. Naipaul, Philip Roth, John Updike, Jean Rhys, Mordecai Richler, Molly Keane, and Norman Mailer. A founding editor of the prestigious publishing house André Deutsch Ltd., Athill takes us on a guided tour through the corridors of literary London, offering a keenly observed, devilishly funny, and always compassionate insider's portrait of the glories and pitfalls of making books--spiced with candid insights about the type of people who make brilliant writers and ingenious publishers, and the idiosyncrasies of both. It is both "wryly humorous" ( The New York Times Book Review ) and "full of history, wisdom, and dirt" ( The Boston Globe ).

"This is not literary life as we know it today--huge advances, showbiz and vast conglomerates--but the world of small literary houses . . . An enveloping blast of nostalgia: read and marvel at what we (all of us) are missing." -- Marie Claire

"A beautifully written, hard-headed, and generally insightful look back at the heyday of post-war London publishing by a woman who was at its center for nearly half a century." -- The Washington Times

"Witty and astute . . . The literarily curious will find [her] portraits of leading contemporary authors irresistible." -- Publishers Weekly
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, ©2000
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780802191540
Characteristics: 1 online resource (250 pages)

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Apr 06, 2019

Such a delightful, dynamic journey through a talented editor during the exciting times of postwar publishing, when books were good and important and what people talked about. Not only do we get this fascinating, well-written history of those times and the inside look into growing a successful publishing business, but we get her brilliant perspective of the writers she edited so well. It's something you want to know: who needs a lot of hand-holding, who was a complete jerk, and who wrote perfectly in one single run. Such big names: Norman Mailer, V.S. Naipaul, and my favorite, Jean Rhys. Jean Rhys is a mess and this editor becomes her caretaker toward the end, and it's such a fun journey because we get to see the chaos and the talent all mixed up without having to have it in our own family.

ser_library Sep 10, 2011

the 2nd half profiles some of the writers DA edited : Richler, Moore, Rhys, Naipaul


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