4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable and well-written memoir,
This review is from: Stet: A Memoir (Hardcover)
There was recently a BBC TV documentary about Diana Athill presented by Alan Yentob which prompted me to take this book off my shelf where it had been sitting waiting to be read. How I wish I had read it earlier! The whole thing is so readable, and the quality of writing so good, that it made me want to read more of her books instantly and I've already ordered one.
The first half of the book concentrates on her life in publishing. The early years of Andre Deutsch and her part in its establishment are fascinating, and very revealing about the way even clever women were treated at the time (the 1940s and 1950s). But she recognises her own acceptance of that treatment and looks back with wry amusement rather than regret or indignation.
She writes fluently and frankly about her life in and out of the office, her lovers, and her clients. In fact the second half of the book is divided into chapters on the writers for whom she was editor. This section is perhaps more interesting to bibliophiles though the stories contained in it are so fascinating I think they stand on their own anyway, regardless of the fact that they are about writers.
Diana Athill comes across as a remarkable woman, the sort you would love to find yourself seated next to at a dinner party!