My notebooks are my conscience,' writes Frederic Raphael. 'They contain a writer's letters to himself.' This second volume of his notebooks covers the first three years of the 1970s: years of slump, treacheries and deceits in the film world, of literary achievement and private tragi-comedies - the storm that washes away weeks of hard work in the garden of the Raphaels' French farmhouse, the serious accident in which his father nearly dies, before being unexpectedly restored to alarmingly irascible life. Raphael's sharp wit spares no one, not the sacred monsters of the movie business and the literary world, nor the incidental characters whose unguarded stories and personalities become the material for fiction. Least of all does he spare himself. Rough Copy is a self-portrait of a writer whose precision and honesty are both entertaining and searching.
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