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One of the most vivid characters in "Diana's Story" was Deric Longden's mother, with her eccentric way with words and personal brand of logic. She is the central figure in this sequel, which takes the author's story forward to the time after his first wife's death and also back to his childhood. Mrs Longden is found making her devastating way through Marks and Spencer, conversing with her two cats - almost as unorthodox as she is - offering her highly original comments on the fresh developments in Deric's life and finally enduring the stroke that put a new twist on her unique wordplay and led eventually to her death. Sad though the ending is, the author's blend of pathos and humour again offers more laughter than tears.
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Deric Longden was born in Chesterfield in 1936 and married Diana Hill in 1957. After various jobs he took over a small factory making women's lingerie, but began writing and broadcasting in the 1970s. The demands made on him by Diana's illness, subsequently believed to be a form of ME, forced him to sell the factory, and since then he has devoted himself to full-time writing, broadcasting, lecturing and after-dinner speaking. Diana's Story, published in 1989, some years after Diana's death, was a bestseller. It was followed by Lost for Words, The Cat Who Came in from the Cold, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Enough to Make a Cat Laugh, A Play On Words and Paws in the Proceedings. Deric Longden's first two books were adapted for television under the title Wide-Eyed and Legless, and an adaptation of Lost for Words was screened in January 1999, attracting an audience of more than 12 million viewers and winning the Emmy for best foreign drama. He married the writer Aileen Armitage in 1990 and now lives in Huddersfield.
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