Featured in the TLS Books of the Year 2018
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 give 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.’.