Saturday, November 29, 2014

PD James: Tributes Flow

Ruth Rendell looks back on her 40-year friendship with her fellow crime novelist PD James – ‘such a nice woman’ 

PD James, right, and Ruth Rendell at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2009
PD James, right, and Ruth Rendell at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2009. The two writers first met at a literary festival. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/Rex
I’ve known Phyllis for about 40 years. We met at a book festival, probably one of the first I ever attended. It would have been a very commonplace thing for her to go to a festival, but nobody knew me then, and she was so nice to me. That is the thing I always will most remember about her: what a kind woman she was, how she did her very best to make you feel good.

She did not write sensation novels, she wrote books about real things, things that could have happened. She didn’t write at all like Agatha Christie. Christie had the most magnificent plots and great stories, but I don’t think anyone would say that she wrote believable stuff, people didn’t want that from her.

But any of the events in Phyllis’s books might have happened – and I think people liked that because they’d never had it in crime fiction before. Dorothy Sayers was a marvellous crime writer, whom both Phyllis and I admired very much, but she hadn’t got the same reality, and she also had that peculiar snobbishness that made her have her detective the son of a duke. Phyllis would have nothing of that.

Tribute in The Telegraph

Society of Authors

Val McDermid's tribute

Ian Rankin & others pay tribute

The New York Times

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