Diana Athill now 88 was regarded as one of the finest editors in London. She worked for the BBC throughout the Second World War and then helped Andre Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name.
In her book ‘stet’ she describes how she heard a man say that humankind is seventy per cent brutish, thirty percent intelligent and though the thirty percent is never going to win, it will always be able to leaven the mass just enough to keep us going. She went on to say that ‘intelligence’ means not just intellectual agility, but whatever it is in beings that makes for readiness to understand, to look for the essence in other beings and things and events, to respect that essence, to collaborate, to discover, to endure when endurance is necessary, to enjoy: briefly, to co-exist. Finally after many years as an editor, as she finally set to “scribble” her book ‘stet’ she looks back and says “it gave so many kinds of enlargement, interest, amusement and pleasure to my days. It was a job on the side of the thirty percent. We at Awaaz are on the same side.