"I have lived a very happy and fulfilled life" says crime fiction writer P.D. James at age 90, and still writing and publishing.
How I wish that was me at that age, and there is time yet. I've discovered that writing is my happy place at 59, so writing and publishing at 90 seems such a wonderful thing to be aiming for.
I've created a new blog category here in homage to the women who go before me. I call it 'Wise Old Women of the Tribe'. It's about looking up in awe at the greats, those psychic mothers who have battled ahead on the path so that we may tread more gracefully and joyfully, and dance in the light.
I feel a lot like a first former (GenY translation - Year 7) gazing in awe at the sixth form prefects (trans - Year 12) and thinking that I'd never get to be where they are. I accept that I will age, but I am daunted and humbled by the achievements of some very special women.
I think I may have even created a whole blog based on that at some stage in my bloggy evolution. I have a whole list of women who qualify.Margaret Whitlam was surely one. Germaine Greer - definitely. Ditto Simone de Beauvoir. P.D. James is definitely on my list. Who would you choose?
To an aspiring-as-yet-unpublished middle-aged writer, P.D. James is simply and utterly inspirational. I have loved her forever. Now that I am nosing 60 I love her even more. If you view the video link below you will see that crime fiction used as a structural vehicle to explore the big questions in life amalgamates the joy of genre reading with the philosophical weightiness of life's more intriguing questions and issues.
P.D. James is such an erudite writer. Teaching her novel 'The Skull Beneath the Skin' after reading Webster's 'The Duchess of Malfi' was one of the joys of my teaching career. She has done the same with Austen. Her intertextual links give the original texts greater resonance in a contemporary reading context. The pleasure in reading thus is exponentially increased.
I've just finished her crime fiction novel 'Death Comes to Pemberley' published in 2011. It has integrity. I fell in love with Darcy and Elizabeth yet again.I love it totally. I was blogging about it on my crime fiction blog called 'Lost in Crime' and thought that I'd blog out my enthusiasm here whilst carefully composing and drafting my literary analysis there. Keep popping over there if you want to read my literary thoughts when they appear; these are my unabashedly emotive fan ravings.
The UK paper, 'The Telegraph', has published any number of interesting articles on P.D. James. The beauty of these are that they are interviews where James herself reflects on writing. This video is delightful as is this article.
All hale Baroness James of Holland Park!