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Against the Stream
Personal Terms VII
RRP: GBP 15.99
ISBN: 978 1 784104 37 5
Series: Personal Terms
Categories: 21st Century, American, Memoirs
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: August 2018
288 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (Kindle)
Against the Stream is the latest volume of Frederic Raphael’s acclaimed memoirs Personal Terms, an unrivalled parade of the author’s eventful and provocative life, opinions and times drawn from his living and breathing cahiers and journals. ‘Shrewd, funny, gossipy and elegantly written,’ as Jeremy Lewis said in the Literary Review, these writings are as unguarded, sardonic and tactless as they are candid. This seventh volume relives Margaret Thatcher’s first years in office. Raphael’s wide acquaintance in the world of politics, literature, journalism and the movies gives him rare access to the character of those, in England and America, who dominated the times. The unintended result is a Proustian parade of people, famous and otherwise forgotten, and events momentous and strictly personal, presented by an unabashedly partisan, unblinking eye-witness. There is nothing else quite like this unfolding project in English or American literature. ‘I am not a camera, but – as these carnets prove – I am a pen. The moving finger writes differently from the clicking keys.’
'A hilarious and disillusioned page-turner.'
Peter Green, The TLS
'Against the Stream offers many insights into Raphael's "double life". An American who made his career in Britain. A Jew who went to Charterhouse and Cambridge. A Hollywood script-doctor who read Ancient Greek for fun. Vain, sharp-tongued, but the sort of truth-teller Britain needed then and needs now.'
David Herman, Standpoint
Praise for Frederic Raphael 'In these notebooks, Raphael shows himself alert to every vanity but his own, a shortcoming that, far from repelling a reader, becomes part and parcel of the their fascination. He is one of those writers who most reveals himself in his acerbic anatomy of others.'
Anthony Quinn, Telegraph 'Aphoristic, lapidary and sumptuously reflective by turns, Personal Terms is a joy to read both for Raphael's prose and mental powers. It is a book of iridescent intelligence, seductive charm, urbane temper and unflagging delight - indeed a minor masterpiece.'
Times Literary Supplement
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