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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Description
On the day she turned seventy-seven, internationally acclaimed mystery writer P. D. James embarked on an endeavor unlike any other in her distinguished career: she decided to write a personal memoir in the form of a diary. Over the course of a year she set down not only the events and impressions of her extraordinarily active life, but also the memories, joys, discoveries, and crises of a lifetime. This enchantingly original volume is the result.
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.



About the Author
P. D. James, English crime writer, is the author of numerous detective novels, many of which were "New York Times "bestsellers. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British civil service, including the Police and Criminal Law Departments of the Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she celebrated her eightieth birthday and published her autobiography, "Time to Be in Earnest". The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was named Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. She lives in London and Oxford.



Praise For Time to Be in Earnest

"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

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