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Must You Go?: My LIfe With Harold Pinter Paperback – October 4, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Bold, intimate. . . . A deliciously detailed account of living in the thick of creativity and fame.” –Entertainment Weekly, A

“Fond and affecting. . . . . Full of glowing fragments. . . . There’s hardly a dull page.” –The New York Times

“[An] extremely interesting book. . . . Wit the publication of this enchanting memoir, she has more than discharged her loving obligation to this distinguished man.” –The Washington Post

“Entertaining and ultimately touching in its determination to recapture lost time, to portray a younger, more carefree self and to bring back a lost loved one, if only on the page.” —Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review
 
“A stirring celebration of what Fraser, reflecting near the end of Pinter’s life, observed as a union ‘to the infinite degree happy beyond all possible expectations.’” —The New Yorker
 
“Fond and touching. . . . A crisp, clear-eyed portrait of a shared life of creative work, political activism, wide-ranging travels, family. . . . Theirs was a fine romance, and Fraser shares that with us.” —The Seattle Times
 
“Extraordinary by any standards. . . . It is simultaneously a love story, an intimate portrait of a great writer and an exercise in self-revelation.” —The Guardian (UK)
 
“Immediate and absorbing. . . . In creating such a finely wrought picture of a man who was both one of the great playwrights of the 20th century and the love of her life, she deploys her own talents.” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
“It takes a daring biographer to turn her sharp eye on her own life as Antonia Fraser does so movingly and beautifully in her memoir.” —Tina Brown, The Daily Beast
 
“Romantic, poignant and very funny.” —The Times (London)
 
“Rises above arty, upper-crust gossip, elevated largely by Fraser’s observational skills.” —Plain Dealer
 
“A sweet look at a limelit marriage that offers insight even as it opens a revealing window. . . . An extraordinary look into one rich love.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“[Written] with exemplary clarity and courage. . . . Fraser keeps her gaze steady and her heart open.” —The Independent (London)
 
“Moving. . . . A remarkably frank and tender record of a fulfilling and creative life lovingly shared.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“Heartfelt. . . . An engrossing, anecdote-rich feat for theater lovers whose tastes extend beyond the glitter of Broadway.” —Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

About the Author

ANTONIA FRASER is the author of many internation­ally bestselling historical works, including Love and Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola, The Wives of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots, and Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot. She has received the Wolfson Prize for History, the 2000 Norton Medlicott Medal of Britain’s Historical Association, and the Franco-British Society’s Enid McLeod Literary Prize. She was made a Dame for services to Literature in 2011.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307475573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307475572
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is one of the best books I have ever read--and I've read a lot!
Shelley F. Mickle
This is a true love story where two people were meet to be together and are depicted as true soulmates.
Tama Walker
I did not like the diary format because somehow, I never became invested in both the main characters.
Natalie J. Schifano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ava on February 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
It's very clear that there is a reason interesting and intelligent people tend to congregate and that is because without each other, they wither. The value of these relationships enriches Ms. Fraser's lovely memoir, which is both a diary and a loving song to her now deceased husband. Beginning with the evening they met and ending with his death, her diary entries tell a story of their love, clear to them both immediately, that only grows over the next 33 years.

The diary is edited for thematic consistency and what is missing is likely the more personal scenes of self indulgence native to the diary form, or quarrels between the couple or with their various offspring. This in no way diminishes the work. The book is not at its heart a memoir, and it isn't an introspective examination of the effect the two's affair and marriage had on their families or friends; it's a joyful remembrance of a love affair and a literary life.

Together the two lunch, dine, drink, attend plays and concerts and operas and travel with friends and any number of Ms. Fraser's six children and Mr. Pinter's one son. Their friends include the Naipauls, the Rushdies, Leonard Bernstein, A.S. Byatt, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Vaclav Havel, Samuel Beckett, and the list continues. This isn't name-dropping; Ms. Fraser and Harold Pinter are arguably more famous than many of her mentions, particularly in Britain. There is no social climbing pretension or attention-seeking to the mention of the couple's friends. It is instead a portrait of how the pair grow and thrive in this literary environment, bringing their children along for the ride. The book is a generous and beautiful picture of creative lives, love, and the richness that results from both fulfilling careers and fulfilling relationships.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Muse on February 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so looking forward to this book, expecting a romantic saga and in depth discussion of their literary lives, but this reads too much like the diary of a teenager, with little emotion. She tells what they did, what they ate, and who they saw. Never does she answer the question that we all want to know, that being "why" - why did you leave your husband? Why was she so attracted to Pinter?

Although initially entranced, I don't even think I'll finish this boring tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shelley F. Mickle on November 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have ever read--and I've read a lot! There is such inspiration and comfort in reading about deep, committed love. This memoir/diary is one in a million, as dear as ALL ABOUT ALICE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tama Walker on January 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a great story between two great authors. Harold Pinter is one of the best playwrights of our time. I started reading his plays in my college years and fell in love with his style. I loved Antonia's description of their fascinating lives and how they first got together and never left each other's side again. This is a true love story where two people were meet to be together and are depicted as true soulmates. It touches my romantic soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By christine spatara on January 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book because it is a memoir written in the form of a diary which is what Antonia Fraser kept all her life and what a life she had and continues to have. A prolific writer of histoirical biographies of English queens and kings as well as a mystery writer. Must You Go is a very intimate journal of her liife with her husband, Harold Pinter- -famous playwrite, screenwriter, actor and Nobel Prize winner--and six children. She allows the reader to come into her home and share her life with her family and friends. When I finished the book, I was sad to leave her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ora Mendels on June 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a stimulating and brilliant record of the very great writer Harold Pinter, told with spirit and love and zest by his devoted wife, Lady Antonia Frazer
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I am a big fan of Antonia Fraser's biographies and histories. She is able to bring to life long-deceased characters and make eras interesting while still providing plenty of detail and curious facts. This book is based on the diaries Ms. Fraser kept from her earliest meeting with Harold Pinter throughout their affair and then long marriage. Ms. Fraser, who was already married with several children when she met Pinter, fell for him nearly instantly, and their devotion to each other continued throughout their intertwined lives and careers, persisting through the ill health and ultimate death of Pinter. This is a very personal narrative, and although I am unfamiliar with British politics and personalities, Ms. Fraser kept me interested enough to follow along through the years with her and her husband and be moved by their separation at Pinter's death.
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Format: Paperback
I felt lost in a large way in this book because I am not British and am not familiar with a lot of the characters in the book, the places, landscapes, certain events, etc. In fact, I never knew who Harold Pinter was until I read this book.
I've always admired Lady Antonia Fraser as an historian and a writer. However, after reading this book, she has fallen from the high pedestal I had her on. Her life with Harold Pinter just comes across as dull, drab and very superficial. I was appalled at some of her language being the distinguished author that she is.
I am glad Lady Antonia found so much happiness and love with Harold Pinter. However, it is a wonder to me how any mother of six children could walk off on them. That is one of the things that intrigued me about the book, but she never really addresses this matter.
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