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A memoir of a love affair...
on 4 September 2010
Lady Antonia Fraser has written an interesting account of her life with playwright Harold Pinter. They met, while married to other people, in their mid-40's and fell head-over-heels in love. After leaving her husband - Hugh Fraser, with whom she had six children - Antonia lived with Pinter while they waited for their respective divorces to become final. They married a few years later. All in all, they were partners for 33 years until Pinter's death in 2008.
Fraser was a famous author of historical biographies and novels when she met Pinter. She kept a diary - referred to in her memoir - and supplemented the entries with updated notes. As with any autobiography/memoir, the reader can only suppose the author is being truthful in her writing. Fraser writes about working, traveling, keeping a home, and socialising with Pinter. During their time together, Pinter wrote about 10 plays, and he also acted in movies. Theirs was a full-throttled pace - and Fraser is not shy about naming names of the famous people with whom they associated. Pinter and Fraser were active in liberal politics and liberal social issues, both in the UK and outside it. Traveling to Mexico, Central America, Eastern Europe, and Israel, they participated in peace rallies and other social protests.
I enjoyed the book but I'm not sure in the end if it wasn't a recitation of places, events, and people. I "know" because I was told how much Fraser and Pinter adored each other and made a wonderful life together, but the knowledge comes from facts and not feelings as expressed by Fraser.