Genre: Fiction
Published: 1 October 1999
Publisher: Faber & Faber
International Rights have been sold to Canada/Knopf, Denmark/Forum, France/Librairie Artheme Fayard, Germany/Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur GmbH & Co, Italy/Mondadori Libri S.p.A., Norway/H Aschehoug & Co, Spain/Ediciones B, Sweden/Wahlstrom & Widstrand, US/Alfred A Knopf Inc

Time to be in Earnest

by The Estate of P.D. James


In this intriguing and very personal book, part diary, part memoir, P.D. James considers the twelve months of her life between her 77th and 78th birthdays, ‘a time to be in earnest’, as Dr Johnson said at the comparable moment of his very different life two centuries ago. In recording the events, thoughts and reflections of her present, Baroness James has found herself simultaneously remembering the past of her remarkable career. She recalls what it was like to be a schoolgirl in the 1920s and 1930s in Cambridge, then giving birth to her second daughter during the worst of the Doodlebug bombardment in London during the war, working as an administrator in the National Health Service, entering the Home Office in the forensic and criminal justice departments, serving as a Governor of the BBC, an influential member of the British Council, the Arts Council and the Society of Authors, and eventually entering the House of Lords.

Along the way she deals with her burgeoning reputation as a novelist, starting with COVER HER FACE in 1962, and with the craft of the classical detective story. During this busy year she also published one of her most intriguing and carefully researched books, A CERTAIN JUSTICE. This record of twelve months in a life of creativity and public service, told with honesty and perception, will enthral aficionados of detective fiction. It will also appeal to those who themselves have lived through the turbulent years of the twentieth century.

"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

Other Books by The Estate of P.D. James

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