Wednesday, June 4, 2014
P.D. James / Death Comes to Pemberley
by David Levine
P. D. James
DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY
The British mystery writer returns this month with
Death Comes to Pemberley,
a revisiting of
Pride and Prejudice
with a fatal twist (though no zombies). Here, she muses on long legs, elevator anxieties, and her secretary’s cat.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Walking by the sea with my two daughters on a perfect summer day.
What is your greatest fear?
Being stuck alone in a very small lift late on a Friday afternoon.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Queen Elizabeth I.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your greatest extravagance?
On what occasion do you lie?
To save someone’s life, but I am grateful to say that this necessity has never arisen.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I would have liked longer legs.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Please answer the phone, someone—say I’m busy.”
What is your greatest regret?
That I didn’t go to university.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Wouldn’t you like to know!
When and where were you happiest?
At home when the news came by telephone that my first book had been accepted.
Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to open child-proof bottles and jars.
What is your current state of mind?
Very happy—my new novel has just been published.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To be 40 again, but knowing what I know now.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I would like my parents to be alive.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
My secretary’s cat—which would mean a life of constant pampering and affection.
What is your most treasured possession?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The telephone, television, and computer all failing simultaneously on a wet Sunday afternoon.
Where would you like to live?
Where I live now, in London.
What is your favorite occupation?
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare, Jane Austen.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Frederick Wentworth, the hero of
Who are your heroes in real life?
People who are not famous but struggle through real difficulties with courage and humor.
What is it that you most dislike?
How would you like to die?
At a great age in my sleep.
What is your motto?
One we all had during the war years, “Keep calm and carry on.” Also, “Enjoy.”
PD James / The Art of Fiction
PD James / Death Comes to Pemberley
PD James in conversation with Gillian Hamer
Heroes / PD James
Obituaries / PD James
Wednesday, June 04, 2014
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