ISBN is

9780345442123 / 0345442121

Time to Be in Earnest: A Fragment of Autobiography

by

Publisher:Ballantine Books

Edition:Softcover

Language:English

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About the book:

"At seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest," wrote Samuel Johnson, and bestselling crime writer P.D. James took this maxim as a challenge, setting out to record "one year that otherwise might be lost." The result is a fascinating and reflective account, part diary and part memoir, of one very full year of Baroness James's life, interspersed with her memories and intelligent analysis of "what it was like to be born two years after the end of the First World War and to live for seventy-eight years in this tumultuous century." P.D. James grew up in Cambridge, England, between the wars and worked in the home office of the forensic and criminal justice departments, which sparked her interest in that area, though she did not become a published novelist until 1962 with Cover Her Face. She began to write full-time after her "retirement" in 1979, and along the way became a governor of the BBC before taking a seat in the House of Lords in 1991. Time to Be in Earnest is a lucid and penetrative work by one of the most influential figures currently involved with the arts in Britain. James reveals her vast scope for enjoyment, interest, and simply getting on with life (her husband, Connor White, died at the age of 44 in 1964 after years of mental illness), whether it be spending time with her children and grandchildren, musing on the hideous British architectural mistakes of the 1960s, or giving her view of the controversies continually surrounding the running of the BBC. At an age when many people would be considering slowing down, James seems constantly on the move, recording her day-to-day existence and her past with an alert and judicious eye. "I am sustained by the magnificent irrationality of faith," she states. "I inhabit a different body, but I can reach back over nearly 70 years and recognise her as myself. Then I walked in hope--and I do so still." --Catherine Taylor, Amazon.co.uk

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