The wonderful Diana Athill has died on 23rd January of this year, calmly and quietly, the way she did most things, at the age of 101. Continue reading Vale Diana Athill
“Moral pap for the young,” Louisa May Alcott said of her writing for girls. Continue reading Little Women is 150 years old
Tom Wolfe, author of Bonfire 0f The Vanities, died in May at the age of 88. Unfortunately, he never completed his biography of Napoleon:
This article in the Paris Review sent me back to Olivia Manning, a writer I haven’t thought about for years. Remember her Balkan Trilogy, which was made into a 7-part TV adaptation by the BBC? That wasn’t until after her death, unfortunately – Manning was bitter about her lack of recognition, and particularly peeved about Iris Murdoch’s fame. I love her riposte when A.S. Byatt said The Rain Forest, the only one of her books ever listed for the Booker, was “slow”:
I wouldn’t call La Byatt exactly a sprinter.
So true. And I must say I share her exasperation at the canonisation of Iris.