British writer and editor Diana Athill died on Wednesday at the age of 101 after a short illness, her publisher Granta Books said on Thursday. Athill worked with famous novelists like Margaret Atwood, John Updike, Simone de Beauvoir and VS Naipaul, and later wrote several books herself.

Athill helped publisher Andre Deutsch set up his publishing company in 1951, and worked there for five decades, The Bookseller reported. Her earlier books included Instead of a Letter (1963), a memoir, and After a Funeral (1986). However, many of her most famous books were published in old age: Stet: An Editor’s Life, in 2000, Somewhere Towards the End, which won the Costa Prize for biography in 2009, and Alive, Alive Oh!, published in 2016 on her 99th birthday.

“Diana was somehow exactly like herself [in her work]: formidable, truthful, often amusing,” Granta Books publisher Sigrid Rausing said following Athill’s death. “She was a soldier for clarity and precision, a clever and competent young woman brought by a combination of forces to a heady mix of London publishing and post-war love affairs. She had...the rare ability to grow seemingly stronger, not weaker, with everything life brought her, transcending the prejudices of her day and learning from mistakes.”

“Things have come out so well for me that I’ve been able to have a very relaxed philosophy, which is enjoy yourself as much as you can without doing any damage to other people,” Athill had told The Guardian in 2017, days before her 100th birthday. “I can’t think many centenarians are still living by their pen.”