Monday, June 01, 2009

STET by Diana Athill (2000)

I found my way to this memoir after reading Athill's SOMEWHERE TOWARDS THE END--my newest favourite book to give to friends.

STET is the term used by editors to recorrect corrections, meaning, "let it stand." And, this memoir published by then- octogenarian Athill lets stand for the public record her work life first at the BBC (after halcyon days spent reading at Oxford) and later in publishing with Andre Deutsch and the house that bears his name.

The second half of the book chronicles Athill's relationships with some of her famous literary charges: Mordecai Richler, Brian Moore, Jean Rhys, Alfred Chester, V.S. Naipal and Molly Keane. With each she is fair and discerning, yet almost always loving.

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