Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
A Memoir

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 14 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

The New York Times bestseller: a prize-winning, critically acclaimed memoir on life and aging —“An honest joy to read” (Alice Munro).


Hailed as “a virtuoso exercise” (Sunday Telegraph), this book reflects candidly, sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old. Charming readers, writers, and critics alike, the memoir won the Costa Award for Biography and made Athill, now ninety-one, a surprising literary star.



Diana Athill is one of the great editors in British publishing. For more than five decades she edited the likes of V. S. Naipaul and Jean Rhys, for whom she was a confidante and caretaker. As a writer, Athill has made her reputation for the frankness and precisely expressed wisdom of her memoirs. Now in her ninety-first year, "entirely untamed about both old and new conventions" (Literary Review) and freed from any of the inhibitions that even she may have once had, Athill reflects candidly, and sometimes with great humor, on the condition of being old—the losses and occasionally the gains that age brings, the wisdom and fortitude required to face death. Distinguished by "remarkable intelligence...[and the] easy elegance of her prose" (Daily Telegraph), this short, well-crafted book, hailed as "a virtuoso exercise" (Sunday Telegraph) presents an inspiring work for those hoping to flourish in their later years.
 

About Diana Athill

See more books from this Author
Diana Athill’s New York Times bestseller, Somewhere Towards the End, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The author of several memoirs, including Instead of a Letter and After a Funeral, Athill lives in London.
 
Published May 22, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company. 182 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Somewhere Towards the End

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Now 91, one of England’s notable book editors examines life, old age and approaching death with astonishing candor in 16 essays distinguished by her spare, direct prose.

Oct 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

This is a theme Diana Athill explores in “Somewhere Towards the End.” Her grapplings are impressive: “My own belief — that we, on our short-lived planet, are part of a universe simultaneously .

Feb 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

Athill is back with a second, slimmer memoir, which she has called “Somewhere Towards the End.” It is a rumination on late old age, undertaken, she writes, because “book after book has been written about being young, and even more of them about the elaborate and testing experiences that cluster r...

Jan 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill Granta £12.99, pp192 In an age in which kiss-and-tell revelations about sex have become commonplace, it is a more intimate act to write about death.

Jan 13 2008 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill, read by Claire Bloom Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Anyone who writes a book - what's mor...

May 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Her earlier books about her life - Instead of a Letter, Stet - made no bones about it: when her heart was broken by her adored fiance, she slept with just about anybody she fancied - a common enough attitude nowadays, but certainly not when she was doing it.

Jan 12 2008 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop By her own admission, there's no denying that moving throug...

Jan 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

Book Reporter

Athill, in fact, was brought up with a very British horror of attention-seeking or boastfulness: “YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PEBBLE ON THE BEACH might have been inscribed above the nursery door,” she writes, “and I know several people…who still feel its truth so acutely that only with difficulty (if at...

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The Independent

Somewhere Towards the End is the winner in the biography category of the 2008 Costa Book Awards.

Feb 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

The Bookbag

As she says, it may not go far towards paying the household bills, but it is enjoyable as it makes you open your mind towards the book, and points you towards other books you may not have read.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Never smug and never inspirational ("Perish the thought," you hear her say) she begins her memoir with the mild disappointment of ordering a tree fern for her garden, receiving a tiny seedling, and realizing that she will never see it grow to maturity.

Jan 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Dwight Garner San Francisco Chronicle 4 of 5 Stars "There is something terrifically comforting about a nonagenarian writing with clarity, wit and verve about getting old and facing death—as Diana Athill does in her new memoir.

Jan 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

Literary Review

The fourth, money, hardly makes an appearance, not because of some lingering English embarrassment - Athill is the least embarrassable person who ever lived - but because, due to an unshakeable lack of insecurity, she never had any.

| Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

M/C Anderson

M/C Reviews Create an account Home Your Account Submit Review Top 10 Main Menu M/C Reviews 'events' 'screens' 'sounds' 'style' 'words' Feature Issues What's On Your Account Send Reviews Statistics To...

Jun 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Somewhere Towards the End: A ...

Reader Rating for Somewhere Towards the End
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 73 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×