Time to Be in Earnest
A Fragment of Autobiography
By P. D. James
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345442123, 306pp.
Publication Date: February 27, 2001
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Time to Be in Earnest offers an intimate portrait of one of most accomplished women of our time. Here are vivid, revealing accounts of her school days in Cambridge in the 1920s and '30s, her happy marriage and the tragedy of her husband's mental illness, and the thrill of publishing her first novel, Cover Her Face, in 1962. As she recounts the decades of her exceptional life, James holds forth with wit and candor on such diverse subjects as the evolution of the detective novel, her deep love of the English countryside, her views of author tours and television adaptations, and her life-long obsession with Jane Austen. Wise and frank, engaging and graceful, this "fragment of autobiography" will delight and surprise P. D. James's admirers the world over.
"Deeply moving . . . . Page after page recalls a vanished world."— The New York Times Book Review
"A cornucopia of discernment, judgment, and wisdom." —San Francisco Chronicle
"James neither overintellectualizes nor sentimentalizes. . . . Writing about commonplace events, [she] gives them weight and substance and so confirms their reality, investing them with a radiance that illuminates this fragment of autobiography." —The Washington Post