The intimate and revealing memoir of the woman behind the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles and a fascinating window into the British literary world.
One of Britain’s most famous and beloved authors, Elizabeth Jane Howard’s life was as rich, varied, and passionate as the characters in her novels. In her brutally honest, at times humorous, wholly captivating autobiography, the woman who felt she lived “in the slipstream of experience” employs her prodigious skills as a novelist to chart the course of an eventful life—including three marriages, multiple affairs, and friendships with the literary giants of the day, among them Kenneth Tynan and Cecil Day-Lewis.
Born in 1923 to bohemian parents within a large Edwardian family, Howard was raised in privilege and security. Educated at home from the age of eleven, she enjoyed short-lived careers as a model, an actress, and an editor before she found her métier as a novelist. She gained invaluable experience growing up in a time bookended by two world wars and enjoyed a level of independence denied an earlier generation of British women.
In her memoir, Howard writes with painful candor about her introduction to sex—her father abused her when she was fifteen—and her marriage to Peter Scott, son of the famed British explorer, along with her tempestuous third marriage to Kingsley Amis. She delves into complicated romantic and family relationships, inviting the reader to accompany her on her search for truth in life.
Featuring cameos by William Faulkner, Rosamond Lehmann, Evelyn Waugh, Charlie Chaplin, Paul Scofield, and many others, Slipstream finally illuminates a struggle common to women writers of every time and place: carving out a room of one’s own.