5 speakers 15 minutes each

Diana Athill

on writing

Diana Athill, now well into her 90s, describes how her career as a writer unfolded. Her family brought her up to believe that no one would want to know anything about her and that talking about herself was boasting - so an autobiographical first book was not well received by her mother. She continued to write about her unsettling sense of failure and the love affairs that tormented her, however, finding it deeply - and unexpectedly - therapeutic. Her mother never spoke to her about her books, but Athill continued to write, finding a cure for distress in doing so. For a while, her life ceased to distress her, so she stopped writing. But since turning 80, Athill has written three books, for fun, not therapy.

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