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A Radical Romance: A Memoir of Love, Grief and Consolation

Published : Thursday 31 October 2019
ISBN : 9780241244500
Price : €24.00

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WINNER OF THE PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE 'Remarkable, moving, illuminating. A memoir of cauterising honesty. This is a book that deserves to be widely read' Spectator 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. Finally she 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. 'The greatest memoirs give us something more than scenes from a life - they offer all the complex shades and colours that we expect in fiction. A Radical Romance is more than just some summing-up: it is a work of art' Guardian 'Beautifully crafted...It casts a light on the lightness of love and the profound depression of loss. A truly gifted writer' The Herald