Monday, April 23, 2007

Profile: People Expect P D James to be Sinister

The Cambridge Evening News is reporting that celebrated author says that people expect her to be sinister. "People sometimes smile and say: 'How can a benign looking great-grandmother write such terrible things?'" she laughs.

The 87-year-old writer published her first novel, Cover Her Face, in 1962, when she introduced the poet detective Adam Dalgliesh to the world. Since then she has written 16 novels featuring Dalgliesh, as well as a series featuring her female sleuth Cordelia Gray. Both of these characters have been portrayed on film with Roy Marsden and Martin Shaw playing Dalgliesh at different times, and Helen Baxendale starring as Cordelia Gray. She has also written two non-series novels, one of which, The Children of Men, was made into a critically acclaimed movie in 2006 and was recently released on DVD.

When asked if The Lighthouse, published in 2005, was the last book to feature Dalgliesh, James replied, "It won't be his last because I am currently writing another. When you're 87 you're never quite sure how much time you have left and I suppose I thought there may not be another one. It's very lucky for him - he doesn't age, but I do."

James also comments on today's mystery authors. "Certainly there's very little in common between the modern detective story and the ones written by Agatha Christie's generation between the wars - the so-called 'golden age'. Nowadays we're much more realistic about crime; we know more about scientific investigation and things like DNA testing have changed everything. In the old days it was much more naive and simplistic."

Read the rest of the profile of P. D. James on Cambridge-News.co.uk here.

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