a story lives forever
Register
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Register
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please untick here if you DO NOT wish us to contact you about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.

Loading the player... If you can't see this video please get the Flash Player.

NEXT STORY

The best and the worst moments of my life

RELATED STORIES

My 90th birthday
Diana Athill Writer
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

There were three parties, the last of which was entirely family, about 20 people there. And it was a lovely party and everybody was having the most gorgeous time, enjoying themselves tremendously. And I was sitting there looking and I thought, 'My God, we are a lucky family'. Really, nearly all the marriages have been happy. All the young are successful. Nice, attractive, kind, doing well, intelligent people. It's amazing. Hardly any… the two divorces, if one digs about, one can find two divorces. And I said to myself, 'No divorces… almost no divorces, no problem children'. When I said that to my sister, she said, 'No problem children? What about Jane?' And I remembered that her daughter had, of course, been a huge problem, but on the other hand, made it even clearer how lucky we are, in that she's now no problem at all and she's absolutely lovely and has a gorgeous family and everything is perfect. So that we are a very lucky family. And we both of us had sat there watching these people, and we both of us had the same thought.

Born in 1917, Diana Athill is a British literary editor whose publishing career began when she helped André Deutsch establish his company. She has worked with many notable writers, namely Philip Roth, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Rhys and VS Naipaul. Following the publication of her memoirs, she is now hailed as an author in her own right.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: party, birthday, family, luck

Duration: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2008

Date story went live: 23 December 2008