“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Pemberley Again

I had one of the most enjoyable experiences of my writing life yesterday evening, when interviewing PD James (right) in the Public Theatre at Trinity College. And when I say ‘interviewing’, I mean ‘struggling to get a word in edgeways’. The Right Honourable Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE – or Phyllis, as she insisted we call her – was in sparkling form, and really could not have made my job any easier. She was truly wonderful company, and the tone was set from the very beginning when the packed audience – 600 or thereabouts – gave her a standing ovation when she first appeared.
  The evening took place under the auspices of the UNESCO / Dublin City of Literature, in association with Trinity College, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. PD James has, of course, written a sequel-of-sorts to that book, DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY, and most of the conversation was taken up with a chat about Jane Austen and PEMBERLEY. So what was her publisher’s reaction when she suggested rewriting Jane Austen as a murder mystery? “Oh, one never tells one’s publisher anything,” was the gist of the reply.
  Anyway, the very good news to come out of last night’s chat was that PD James has just begun – at the tender age of 93 – another Adam Dalgliesh novel. Here’s hoping the Baroness returns to Dublin to celebrate that particular delight.

4 comments:

Jackie Walsh said...

Hi Declan it was a lovely event. I thought you did a great job. Jackie

seana graham said...

Man, I would have loved to see that one. From televised things, I've always found James an interesting interviewee. And good news about Dalgliesh. More power to her!

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Peter Rozovsky said...

So, who's the easier, more soothing, more relaxing interview subject: P.D. James, or James Ellroy?