The story of Diana Athill's relationship with Didi - a gifted writer and an Egyptian in exile - and a remarkably honest, poignant look at love and grief.
This is the story of how and why a talented writer came to take his own life.
When Diana Athill met the man she calls Didi, an Egyptian in exile, she fell in love instantly and out of love just as fast. Didi moved into her flat, they shared housework and holidays, and a life of easy intimacy seemed to beckon.
But Didi's sweetness and intelligence soon revealed a darker side - he was a gambler, a drinker and a womanizer, impossible to live with but impossible to ignore. With painful honesty, Athill explores the three years they spent together, a period that culminated in Didi's suicide - in her home - an event he described in the journals he left for her to read as 'the one authentic act of my life'.
'Only a few totally honest accounts of a human life exist. To see the truth of your own life you must have gotten beyond all illusions about yourself, and probably about the world, as well. Few of us do. Diana Athill is one of the few.' - Washington Post
'A book which gives a new dimension to honesty, a new comprehension to love' - Vogue
DIANA ATHILL was born in 1917. She helped Andre Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name and worked as an editor for Deutsch for four decades. She is the author of eight volumes of memoirs - Stet, Instead of a Letter, After a Funeral, Yesterday Morning, Make Believe, Somewhere Towards the End, Alive, Alive Oh!, A Florence Diary - a collection of letters, Instead of a Book, and a novel, Don't Look At Me Like That, all published by Granta, as well as a collection of short stories, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse (Persephone Books). In January 2009, she won the Costa Biography Award for Somewhere Towards the End, and was presented with an OBE. She died in January 2019.
Biography & Autobiography
Paperback - B format