Must You Go?: My Life with Harold Pinter

Author(s): Antonia Fraser

Biography & Memoir

The subtitle of this wonderful memoir declares its contents: this is 'my life with Harold Pinter', not Lady Antonia Fraser's complete life, and certainly not his. In essence, it is a love story and as with many love stories, the beginning and the end, the first light and the twilight, are dealt with more fully than the high noon in between. The result is a marvellously insightful testimony to modern literature's most celebrated marriage, between the greatest playwright of the age and a beautiful and famous prize-winning biographer. Must You Go? is based partly on Antonia Fraser's own diaries, which she has kept since October 1968 when she suffered from withdrawal symptoms after finishing her first historical biography, Mary Queen of Scots. Antonia Fraser has also used her own recollections, both immediate reactions (she always writes her Diary the next morning, unless otherwise noted) and memories. She has quoted Pinter where he told her things about his past, once again noting the source, and has occasionally quoted his friends talking to her on the same subject. Intriguingly her Diaries always pay special attention to any green shoots where Pinter's writing is concerned, perhaps a consequence of a biographer living with a creative artist and observing the process first hand. Harold Pinter and Antonia Fraser lived together from August 1975 until his death thirty-three years later on Christmas Eve 2008. 'O! call back yesterday, bid time return,' cries one of his courtiers to Richard II. This is Antonia Fraser's uniquely compelling way of doing so

$60.00(NZD)

Available Stock:
0

Order this Item


Add to Wishlist


Product Information

'Antonia Fraser's poignant memoir Must You Go? begins in 1975 when, aged 42, she meets the playwright with 'bright black eyes' at a dinner party, sparking a 33-year love affair' HARPER'S BAZAAR 'Antonia Fraser writes a moving portrait of her relationship with late husband Harold Pinter' VOGUE 'But the book is in the end not so much a literary memoir as the simplest of love stories. As such, it's captivating' -- David Sexton EVENING STANDARD 'As the memoir, Must You Go?, movingly proves, Pinter's love of women finally reached fulfilment in a marriage of true minds' -- Michael Billington WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'It is neither authobiography nor biography but a love story, romantic, poignant and very funny, illuminating her husband's character and creativity' -- Valerie Grove THE TIMES 'Antonia Fraser's memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, Must You Go?, is extraordinary by any standards. Based on the diaries she kept during her 33-year relationship with the dramatist, it is simultaneously a love story, an intimate portrait of a great writer and an exercise in self-revelation' -- Michael Billington THE GUARDIAN 'This book - full of funny and tender things - satisfies on more than one level. It is an intimate account of the life and habits of a major artist; it is a pencil sketch of British high society in the second half of the 20th century; and it is, more than either of these things, and much more unusually, a wonderfully full description of the deep pleasures and comforts of married love' -- Sam Leith SPECTATOR 'Addictive and affecting as an account of a 33-year-old love affair, with walk-on parts for Vaclav Havel, Salman Rushdie, The Princess of Wales and many others, it is memorable for its intimate vignettes' -- James Fergusson COUNTRY LIFE 'After 33 years, he [Pinter] remained as besotted with Antonia Fraser as he had always been. He would write her poems, send her flowers, buy her presents...Here, astonishingly, was the Mr Darcy of Campden Hill Square: forbidding and combustible on the outside, gentle and tender at home' -- James Preston EVENING STANDARD 'Pinter's first diagnosis with cancer of the oesophagus came on 13 December 2001, soon after that public "Fall" of 11 September. Fraser traces the "steps downwards" through the eight ensuing years of sporadic anguish and relief with exemplary clarity and courage...Fraser keeps her gaze steady and her heart open' -- Boyd Tonkin THE INDEPENDENT 'It is written with palpable love, warmth, affection and a huge sense of loss for a man regarded by many as Britain's greatest living playwright before his death on Christmas Eve 2008...Must You Go? is essentially a heart-warming love story' -- Charles Spencer DAILY TELEGRAPH 'As superior gossip about literary, theatrical and political stars it is entertaining and often very funny. As a testament to a long, loving marriage it is simply touching' -- Anne Chisholm SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'Finally this book works, just as it appears their lives worked, as the most touching and enduring of love stories...The ending, brutal and unsentimentally presented yet filled with a Tolstoyan directness of feeling, is almost unbearably moving. The whole of this lovely book fills you with gratitude that happenstance can, once in while, not screw up and find the right girl for the right boy' -- Dominic Dromgoole FINANCIAL TIMES 'This engaging memoir succeeds on two fronts. First it brings to light the private world of Harold Pinter, one of our greatest playwrights, but rather more importantly, it tells the remarkable love story between the writer and his wife Antonia Fraser...In the coming years there will be many biographies and assessments of this writer's life but none, I believe, will match the gentle intimacy of Antonia Fraser's memoir' -- Graham Ball SUNDAY EXPRESS 'Few people have the emotional capacity for a grand passion, or the talent for expressing it, as she does. Lady Antonia is a narrative historian and she has spent the year since Pinter died writing out their love story' -- Victoria Glendinning DAILY MAIL ' "No flowers on my grave," he hissed after seeing dead cornflowers on Larkin's. His wishes have been honoured in this book, which is less flowery than most elegies have a right to be, one year on. He had already approved the diary entries he'd read as "a great record of - us". -- Blake Morrison GUARDIAN 'Fraser often writes beautifully, in carefully weighted sentences charged with a mischievous wit and, finally, a heart-snagging tenderness' -- Clare Allfree METRO 'a poignant, touching and romantic tale that will illuminate a little-understood side of Pinter' NEWS OF THE WORLD 'Following several high-profile extracts, Antonia Fraser's memoir of her life with Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter stormed the review pages this week' THE BOOKSELLER 'This book is a love story and a very moving one...There is a good test of a biography of memoir. Does it leave you thinking, I would like to have known this person? I would very much like to have known Harold Pinter - and that's not something I had thought before reading this book' -- Allan Massie LITERARY REVIEW 'A rollicking read' -- Richard Fitzpatrick IRISH EXAMINER 'For anyone interested in Harold Pinter, this is required reading' -- Melanie McDonagh THE TABLET 'The final section of Must You Go? is the strongest and most affecting, an account of Pinter's ill health, his 75th-birthday celebratins in Dublin, his Nobel Prize, his struggle to make his political voice heard and Fraser's gradual realisation that her time with Pinter is running out. This is a moving account of carefully crafted and cherished love, a theme that is, in itself, unusual' -- Hilary Fannin IRISH TIMES 'Must You Go? is wholeheartedly recommended to anybody who loves or hates Harold Pinter, has an interest in theatre or just can't resist a good old-fashioned love story' -- Philip Fisher BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE WEBSITE 'This is one of the most 'un-put-downable' books I have read in ages' -- Ruth Rees CATHOLIC TIMES 'Those who woul have liked to explore the bewitching love story that their union surely holds have to be content with occasinal details, such as Pinter's meltingly sweet focus on Fraser as he asks her, during that final ambulance ride to his death, "What are your plans - generally?". -- Terri Apter TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'As ever, Fraser writes beautifully. Her book is an uplifting, warm and moving tribute to her life with Harold, a man who often described himself as 'the luckiest man in the world', and a companion who is sorely missed' GOOD BOOK GUIDE 'Never sentimental, she enlivens every page of this affectionate memoir with humour, wit and minute observation' -- Maria Perry-Robinson CATHOLIC HERALD 'She provides considerable insight into the magnetic intellectual attraction she and Pinter exerted on each other, their respective creative processes, and the colourful characters they mixed with in London high society' -- Paul Nolan HOT PRESS (Ireland) 'Harold Pinter was one of Hackney's literary illuminati and this honest account of his big mouth and kind heart from his widow dispels some of the myths about him and allows us to consider his legacy without being deafened by his angry voice' -- The Hit List by Pages of Hackney THE INDEPENDENT 'As superior gossip about literary, theatrical and political stars, it is entertaining and often very funny. As a testament to a long, loving marriage it is simply touching' -- Anne Chisholm LADY MARGARET HALL - THE BROWN BOOK

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works and she has also written five highly praised books which focus on women in history. Antonia Fraser was made CBE in 1999, and awarded the NORTON MEDLICOTT MEDAL by the Historical Association in 2000

General Fields

  • : 9780297859710
  • : Orion Publishing Co
  • : Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • : January 2010
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Antonia Fraser
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 828.91409
  • : 360
  • : 16 B/W Photo\Illu(s)