TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - With the news of P. D. James' death today in Oxford, England, at the age of 94, we are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the most acclaimed writers of our time, whose books have been read by millions worldwide. As her Canadian publisher, Knopf Canada, part of Penguin Random House Canada, joins all her readers in remembering and honouring an extraordinary, beloved writer.
"Phyllis was a great friend to this publishing house, and even while we celebrate her huge accomplishments, I know she will be terribly missed," says Louise Dennys, Executive Publisher of Random House of Canada. "For more than half a century she has enriched all our lives with the genius of her storytelling and the power of her imagination. Heralded as "the Queen of Crime," she was indeed an incomparable master of her craft. She took the art of the detective novel to the level of the finest literature, transcending the genre while never ceasing to entertain us. I've had the joy as well as the privilege of publishing her for over 32 years, loved her and treasured her like so many: she was not only a magnificent writer but the most kind, loyal and loving of friends, a woman of deep moral intelligence, sympathy and acuity. Her death is a loss to readers everywhere but we can only thank her for the wonderful books, stories and characters she has left with us. And our sympathies today are especially with her family, her daughters, her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and close friends."
Phyllis Dorothy James--known as P. D. James from the time she published her first book, Cover Her Face, in 1962--was the author of such brilliant novels as Original Sin, A Taste for Death, The Private Patient, The Lighthouse, Devices and Desires—all starring her famously intelligent and attractive policeman-poet, Adam Dalgleish--as well as most recently, in 2011, Death Comes to Pemberley, in which she combined her two lifelong loves, Jane Austen and murder mysteries, in a beautifully imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice. She wrote nineteen novels, and two works of non-fiction, and many distinguished essays. Most of her novels have been broadcast on television; her novel The Children of Men was the basis for the award-winning film Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity). In 2000, when she celebrated her eightieth birthday, she published a memoir, Time to Be in Earnest.
P.D. James was born in 1920 in Oxford, England. She began writing in her mid-thirties, using her maiden name, while bringing up her two daughters and working in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain's Home Office. She remained deeply committed socially, and served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. Admired by her writing peers for the skill she brought to her craft, she received, over the course of her long, productive life, many prizes and honours; among them the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature, and the Diamond Dagger Award from the British Crime Writers' Association. In 1991 she was created Baroness James of Holland Park—choosing, in her new title, to commemorate the street in London where she lived and wrote many of her novels. In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame.
"Looking back on my life I do know myself to be greatly blessed…. And I have my work. I shall continue to write detective stories as long as I can write well….It gives pleasure to me and to thousands of readers. No other justification is needed." P.D.James, Time to Be in Earnest, 1999.
SOURCE: News - Media
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