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“Glowing. . . . There’s hardly a dull page.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"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, 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
"Bold, intimate, madly entertaining. . . . Fraser simultaneously creates a tender portrait of an exciting marriage, and a deliciously detailed account of living in the thick of creativity and fame. A"
"An engrossing, anecdote-rich feat for theater lovers whose tastes extend beyond the glitter of Broadway. . . . The book ultimately sheds humanizing new light on a writer with a public reputation for his stern sense of ethics and the clammy, unsettling spell cast by his plays."
—Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
"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 Must You Go? My Life with Harold Pinter. It's a compelling diary of a passionate love affair, marriage, and 40-year conversation of two soul mates in the milieu of London's chattering classes."
—Tina Brown, The Daily Beast
"Written with a very English, very literate brand of grace and restraint, Fraser's account of their life together (culled from her diaries) is fond and touching. But it's also a crisp, clear-eyed portrait of a shared life of creative work, political activism, wide-ranging travels, family — not always smooth going, sometimes rocky and controversial, but remarkable and fascinating nonetheless. In short, theirs was a fine romance, and Fraser shares that with us."
—The Seattle Times
“Fraser has used more than three decades’ worth of pithy, clever and frequent diary entries as the backbone of this tremendously engaging account. . . . The book works beautifully – as both a rare love story and a sharp portrait of life in the upper echelons of British literary society.”
“A lovely, intimate portrayal of a marriage . . . A wonderful testament to romance, love, shared humor, and true partnership."
—Library Journal, starred review
"A moving compilation of diary entries written during the course of an artistically fruitful three-decade partnership . . . A devoted, respectful tribute."
“Must You Go? is a love story (with a dash of scandal for spice), but it succeeds on many other levels as well. It is a window into British high society, a glimpse of the inspiration behind some of Pinter’s finest achievements and a kaleidoscope of historical and personal events. Most significantly, it is a testament to the 'private happiness' possible in a supportive marriage between two dynamic and ambitious people.”
Praise from the UK:
“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.”
“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.”
“Neither autobiography nor biography but a love story, romantic, poignant and very funny, illuminating her husband's character and creativity.”
“[Writing] with exemplary clarity and courage . . . Fraser keeps her gaze steady and her heart open.”
“Unremittingly delicious: strange, rarefied, frequently hilarious.”
“[Must You Go? is] told from a privileged backstage perspective, and observed with a sharp eye for social and behavioural detail . . . 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 a gratitude that happenstance can, once in a while, not screw up and find the right girl for the right boy.”
This is beautifully done, and it is a lovely memento, too, of Pinter and Fraser's life together.
Just seems like a book where the author put in minimal effort and then rode on her previous notoriety for it to have happened at all.
There are many loose ends that would be unacceptable in a work of fiction and almost too many to be acceptable here.
One big name-dropping, really. A diary, re-written for the occasion, perhaps, may not be a good idea...Published 12 days ago by Anne Bjoern Larsen
A writer whom I have always admired, makes the incredible story of her 35 year romance and marriage with one of the 20th century's most important playwrights, boring. Read morePublished 8 months ago by AdeA
I suppose that if you're a huge Harold Pinter fan, this deserves reading, but if not, why bother. I don't think Ms.Fraser has much to say about her life.Published 12 months ago by Michele
It's fascinating to read such an up-close account of such an important figure in British theatre. This gives insight into both Pinter's literary and dramatic career and his... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Marguerite Stobo
There is no larger enigma than the mind and actions of Mr. Pinter. Turning to this, to understand the core of this brilliant writer was a huge disappointment.Published 12 months ago by Disciple of Whitman
Must You Go was a very sweet memoir, with lots of gossipy name-dropping, but overall a disappointment. I think had the writer been less famous, no one would have published this.Published 14 months ago by Pilgrim
Very disappointing. I thought it would be a memoir about a romantic love story, but it was more of a diary of dates for drinks and dinners with notable persons. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Leah Tchack
A book like this is mostly moments. That is, not a coherent biographical narrative. As Frasier says, "this is...not my complete life, and certainly not [Harold Pinter's].... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Santiago Lafcadio
Although the author's introductory paragraphs are featured in the online description, the book itself is an unfiltered collection of diary entries. Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. M. Keough