Diana Athill

Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the writer and book editor Diana Athill.
For nearly 50 years Diana Athill was involved in every aspect of publishing, from editing and even completely rewriting books to drawing adverts, designing covers and nursing authors for the publishing house Andre Deutsch. They published some of the greatest names of the 20th century, including Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, VS Naipaul and Jean Rhys.

Her career has been remarkable, but it was one that she fell into after her original plans for marriage and children fell through. Now aged 86, she is still writing and her novel Make Believe is being republished this autumn - and she still visits the Norfolk estate owned by her family where she spent so much time as a girl riding horses.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: O Glucklich Paar by Franz Joseph Haydn
Book: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Luxury: Her own bed

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 25 Jun 2004 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterSue Lawley
Interviewed GuestDiana Athill

Featured in...

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs at 75 1920x1080

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?