P. D. James (1920-2014)

Mystery novelist P.D. James died November 27 at the age of 94. She was best known for her series of novels about policeman Adam Dalgliesh.

She also wrote a well-known dystopian novel, The Children of Men, set in England of 2021 where mass infertility threatens the future of the population. The novel was published in 1992 and adapted as a film in 2006. The film was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who also made Gravity. It was nominated for the Hugo and the Oscar.

James was working as a health service administrator in the 1950s when she made a decision to start writing seriously — “I realized that there was never going to be a convenient time to start that first novel,” she told an interviewer in 1997. “If I didn’t make time, find the motivation, I would be a failed writer and that would be absolutely appalling for me.”