Instead of a Book
Written with an intimacy and spontaneity even more revealing than her celebrated memoirs, Diana Athill’s correspondence with the American poet Edward Field covers thirty years of pleasure and pain, fame and gossip, relationships and ailments. Edited, selected and introduced by Athill, this collection of those letters covers her career as an editor and the adventure of her retirement, revealing a sharply intelligent woman with a keen eye for the absurd, a brilliant turn of phrase and a wicked sense of humour. Vivid, direct and entertaining, Instead of a Book is a wonderful insight into a woman growing older without ever losing her zest for life.
'Fascinating and surprising ... Athill is a wonderful letter writer - always aware of the need to entertain and beguile the reader ... Every page of this book shows that Athill's eye is as beady as ever' - Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times 'Encounter again, the sheer joy of her brisk, wry and hugely energetic prose' - Christina Patterson, Independent
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