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Midsummer Night in the Workhouse Paperback – 14 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd (14 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903155827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903155820
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Athill was born in 1917. She worked for the BBC throughout the Second World War and then helped Andre Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name. She is the author of five volumes of memoirs - Stet, Instead of a Letter, After a Funeral, Yesterday Morning, Make Believe - and a novel, Don't Look at Me Like That. A selection of her memoirs appear in Life Class published in November 2009. She lives in London.

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By bookelephant on 23 April 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a collection of short stories by Diana Athill which had been previously published in the US, but not in the UK, and which the author says she had quite forgotten about when Persephone asked her for permission to publish! That does not mean however that they are unworthy works - indeed reading a few interviews with her she seems to make something of a habit of forgetting how interesting her work is - perhaps a remanant of the lack of self confidence which had her remain as a publisher rather than a writer until the age of 43 when she secretly penned a short story which won the Observer prize?
No, this set of stories is entirely fascinating (and I rarely enjoy a whole collection of short stories by a single author wholeheatedly), and frequently disconcerting. What comes through loud and clear is her sense of separateness - in one story (which one suspects strongly of having a real autobiographical basis) the protagonist sits, broken hearted, in a bath aware of two of her being there - the broken hearted girl sobbing uncontrollably, and the other, the watcher who sees the tears fall into the bath, and offers comfort of the other person within her who will see her through in the end. Such sidesteps of perception cast a fascinating light on relationships - and this is to me anyway, the great charm of the collection of stories. A relationship may seem straightforward, but a new perspctive on it will skew it, or stunt it or send it spinning off unpredictably. As the stories progress the insights are likely to strike chords either with one's own experience, or put one in mind of people who behave in ways which have seemed unaccountable. One comes away with a sense of knowing relationships better, and even, a bit, of having had or at least perceived a fascinating love life - if not one overbrimming with happiness ....
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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful By City--Bird on 27 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this after reading the review in the Evening Standard but felt the hype didn't live up to expectations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
wonderful find 11 Dec. 2011
By rebecca mizhir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Athill before but these stories are true gems - wonderful writing about the details and quiet crises of female experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
True to life. 5 Sept. 2013
By GeoUser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Diana Athill is a keen noticer of life as it really happens in all its paradoxes and touching ironies. No platitudes here, but well crafted writing. This is not a woman's or a man's version of life, but that of an accomplished human being.
excellent 4 Oct. 2014
By Dy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Athill can write about anything - great good book and fast shipping from this seller
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