Author: Alison Light
About the book:
A luminous memoir of love and grief from the author of Common People Alison Light met the radical social historian, Raphael Samuel, in London in 1986. Twenty years her senior, Raphael was a charismatic figure on the British Left, utterly driven by his work and by a commitment to collective politics. Within a year they were married. Within ten, Raphael would be dead. Theirs was an attraction of opposites - he from a Jewish Communist family with its roots in Russia and Eastern Europe, she from the English working class. In this chronicle of a passionate marriage, Alison Light peels back the layers of their time together, its intimacies and its estrangements. She tells of moving into Raphael's cluttered 18th-century house in Spitalfields and into his equally full, unconventional life; of the whirlwind of change outside their door which brutally transformed London's old East End districts; of being widowed at 41, and finding inspiration in her friendship with Raphael's mother. Light reflects on the power of mourning and how it shapes a life. Through its frank and touching account of a marriage between two very different people, it celebrates the capacity we all have to share our lives and to change our selves.
About the author:
Alison Light is a writer and critic. She is an honorary professor in the Department of English at University College, London, Honorary Professorial Fellow at Edinburgh University and a Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford. A regular contributor to the London Review of Books, she is the author of the much-acclaimed Mrs Woolf and the Servants and Common People, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She lives in Oxford.
Giving this book as a present? We can include a personal message from you, handwritten on one of our illustrated Heywood Hill postcards free of charge. Write your message in the 'notes' box at the checkout. If you would like the book gift-wrapped in our famous livery, also free of charge, just let us know.