Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Rare Glimpse

Copyright Random House British Classic Crime author P.D. James, Baroness of Holland Park and inductee of the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame, is a private person.

For those of you who don't know who she is, here's a brief biography: "P.D. James is the author of twenty books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain's Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. In 2009, she celebrated her eighty-ninth birthday. She lives in London and Oxford."

Copyright Fantastic Fiction UKHer memoir Time to Be in Earnest written in her 77th year as a diary, gives us a brief look into her life, her experiences, and her thoughts on the people and events in her life.

For a fan of her work, I've been dying to lay my hands on more glimpses into: Who is P.D. James? I've read her memoir a few times over from cover to cover. The style of her fiction books reflect a mindset that is congruent with the memoir, and I love that. Makes her feel closer to me.

Then on the flight a week ago, the United Airline magazine Directions had this rare glimpse into a detail that hasn't even been hinted at in her memoir or any of her online biographies. In her own words...

"I've traveled to so many diferent countries promoting my books, but the place I've felt most at home is America, and my favorite city there is Boston. it's a very english city, and that's such a funny thing to say, because we don't travel to ther places to find more Englishness! But there's so much history there, and I've loved the architecture. There's something very special about Boston. it combines all the activity of a big city with a kind of intellectual peace."

"I was there for three months teaching creative writing at boston University. I really enjoyed the historic sites such as the Paul Revere house and the State Capitol. It's a very walkable city, I remember going across the bridge to Harvard University, which is a very attractive campus. And we went down to Cape Cod and visited Nantucket, where the houses have widow's walks around them. It's just lovely."

Talking About Detective Fiction by PD JamesP.D. James's latest book Talking About Detective Fiction has been commissioned by Oxford's Bodleian Library. It was released on December 1, 2009.


Megan Frampton said...

I like her a lot, too, Keira; quite a few years ago I went to a Q&A with her. She was lovely, and so, so smart.

Keira Soleore said...

Ooh, Megan, I'm so jealous that you were in her hallowed presence. Sometimes, living on the wrong coast is really tough as everything exciting happens only in NYC.