I saw you on television.” I thought to myself: “Wow, so this is what fame is like”.
But Athill has become not only famous, but revered.
‘Jennifer told me about this relationship, but she didn’t dwell on it,’ he says.
‘She had been deeply in love with this man, but didn’t talk about him other than in general terms.
And as if on cue, Eddie would lean over the table, every so often, to offer me a nervous, overly tongue-y kiss to gauge my current state of mind.” Eddie and Le Ann wed in 2011.
As an editor at André Deutsch, she looked after the likes of Philip Roth, Jean Rhys and – trickiest of all – VS Naipaul. My only explanation is that people are living longer lives these days and it cheers them to read a cheerful book about growing old.
Periodically, when Athill was feeling depressed or lonely, she would say to herself: ‘At least I’m not married to Vidia.’ And now she is outselling most, if not all, of her old authors. And, of course, there’s a sense of going through a certain amount of difficulty and coming out the other side feeling all right.’ We are sitting in Athill’s bedroom in the old people’s home in Highgate where she has lived for just over a year – she was 91 when she moved in, she’s 93 now.
"A relationship between a person and someone other than (their) spouse (or lover) that affects the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage.
The role of an affair is to create emotional distance in the marriage." In this view, neither sexual intercourse nor physical affection is necessary to affect the committed relationship(s) of those involved in the affair.