Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir (Paperback)

Coronavirus Alert

*** If you're ordering a book that has not yet released, please create a separate order for just that preorder. If we receive orders that contain both not-yet-published books and currently available books, your order will be delayed and $4 shipping will be automatically added.

We are currently about 24 hours behind processing online orders.

When placing an order, please note that USPS is experiencing significant delays due to the global pandemic. If you need your books promptly, we strongly recommend that you select priority mail as your shipping method. Women & Children First is not responsible for lost or stolen packages! 

We so appreciate your overwhelming support! Please be kind and patient with our small staff during this challenging time. ***

Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir Cover Image
$14.95
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Description


Winner of the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography and a 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 the Author


After a distinguished career as a book editor, Diana Athill (1917—2019) won the National Book Critics Circle and Costa Biography Awards for her New York Times best-selling memoir Somewhere Towards the End. In January 2009, she was presented with an Order of the British Empire.

Praise For…


Athill writes…with clarity, calm, and common sense.
— Barbara Fisher

Life, not death, is her preoccupation…Reflections on old age, rather than on a long life lived are rare…It is rarer still for a woman to write such a book: so Athill’s candor and economic prose on religion, regrets, and sex are invigorating.
— Emma Jacobs

Jean Rhys said that literature was a lake, and what mattered was to contribute to it, even if only a trickle. She contributed a narrow boiling river. Diana Athill has contributed a cool clear burn.
— Carole Angier

A great gift. . . . This is a warm, inspiring book.
— Susan Salter Reynolds

Bracingly frank…joyful rather than grim… she offers clear-eyed wisdom of the grandma-you-wish-you’d-had variety.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, wisdom is bred in neither the heart nor the head, but in the bones that carry us through the decades. A few very talented artists, like Diana Athill, may persuade their old bones to yield up a glimpse or two of what they’ve learned.
— Laura Miller

There is something terrifically comforting about a nonagenarian writing with clarity, wit and verve about getting old and facing death. . . . [Athill] evokes another grande dame of British letters in her uninhibited lifestyle and no-holds-barred, clarion voice: last year’s Nobel Prize winner, Doris Lessing.
— N. Heller McAlpin

Welcome and original.
— Dwight Garner

She writes as a person of wide-ranging learning, a generalist, a lover of men and animals and a garden enthusiast, a person intoxicated with life.
— Erica Jong

A spry dispatch on the condition of being elderly.

Unusually appealing. . . . To readers Athill delivers far more than modest pleasure: Her easy-going prose and startling honesty are riveting, for whither she has gone many of us will go as well.
— Michael Dirda

A perfect memoir of old age—candid, detailed, charming, totally lacking in self-pity or sentimentality and above all, beautifully, beautifully written.
— The Costa Award Judges
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393338003
ISBN-10: 0393338002
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: December 7th, 2009
Pages: 208
Language: English