Alive, Alive Oh! : And Other Things That Matter EPUB
by Diana Athill
“Enchanting . . . Diana Athill, 98, still has a few things to teach us about growing old with dignity and humor and grace . . . Astute and sparkling.”—Associated Press
Several years ago, Diana Athill accepted that she could no longer live entirely independently, and moved to a retirement home in Highgate. Released from the daily anxieties of caring for her own property and free to settle into her remaining years, she reflects on what it feels like to be very old, and on the moments in her long life that have risen to the surface and which sustain her in these last years.
What really matters in the end? Which memories stand out? As she approaches her 100th year, Athill recalls in sparkling, precise detail the exact layout of the garden of her childhood, a vast and beautiful park attached to a large house; relates with humor, clarity and honesty her experiences of the First and Second World Wars and her trips to Europe as a young woman; and in the remarkable title chapter, describes her pregnancy at the age of forty-three, losing the baby and almost losing her life—and her gratitude and joy on discovering that she had survived.
Alive, Alive Oh! is “so beautifully written and exquisitely detailed . . . [Athill] mines her memories of a life well-lived and generously lays them out on the page for the rest of the world to enjoy” (Star Tribune).
“Witty, candid . . . If you haven’t read Athill, and open her latest book expecting serene reflections from a nonagenarian sipping tea in her garden, you’re in for a surprise.”—San Francisco Chronicle