Saturday, 20 February 2016
Alive, Alive Oh! - Diana Athill
Possibly her last, and very short, memoir, Athill gives her views on several things that have been and are important to her. I have read all her other memoirs and enjoyed every one, but this, being shorter and about several different subjects, is a rather different book altogether. She could nearly have called it "Rambling Thoughts". Of course not! She doesn't ramble, she has a straightforward, rather old fashioned (for these days of texts and tweets) writing style - but as usual, she has a way of telling you about herself which make you want to know her better. If you came across this book first, before all her others, I think if you enjoyed it you would rush off and find the others. If you have read any or all of her others, you will appreciate this one. But it is an acquired taste. She's had a colourful life, taken lovers instead of choosing marriage (and that way of living has suited her well), she's had a career in publishing and now, creeping up towards 100 years, she isn't afraid of death. So she's remembered a few things that were important to her, and she's telling us all about them. A lovely book for the bedside, just to dip in and read a chapter now and then.