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November 15 , 2009

Off the King's Road

Lost and Fount in London


"Fascinating . . . laugh-aloud funny." - The Los Angeles Times

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In December of 1968, Phyllis Raphael landed in London as the restless wife of a Hollywood movie producer. With their three young children in tow from L.A., she was prepared for a London vacation on MGM's dime while her husband was on the set. Instead - in a maneuver Raphael wasn't expecting - he left her for an eighteen-year-old actress. And in a decision she never could have predicted, Raphael stayed in London with her kids.

Off the King's Road is Raphael's courageous and funny story of being an expatriate let loose in the turbulence of Swinging London in the 1960s. She arrived naive, dependent and dissatisfied, and left several years later as another person entirely: a single mother, a writer, a woman in command - for better or worse - of her own life. Written with seductive elegance, humor and sexual candor, Off the King's Road speaks to all women of the possibilities of a life transformed by circumstance.

"A compelling work that captures an era . . . Raphael's account of the English teetering between ingrained restraint and letting-it-all-hang-out is acute - hilarious and sad. Raphael is a talented writer, and she captures her heightened awareness of post marital-split life with refreshing vigor." -

"At once a powerful coming-of-age memoir and a vivid study of London in the Swinging '60s." - Columbia Daily Spectator

"What a journey! Raphael cavorts with everyone from tripping poets to Marlon Brando." - Marie Claire

"Spirited . . . Eloquent." - East Hampton Star

"Stylish" - Publishers Weekly

"Savvy . . . Vibrant . . . An elegant memoir of a swinging time" - Kirkus Reviews

"Immensely appealing" - Booklist

"A delicious book - warm and witty - one that evokes the Swinging Sixties from a point of view rarely heard from." - Vivian Gornick, author of Fierce Attachments

"[It has] acutely observed detail, a tactile immediacy, a cool, appraising eye, and humor. Plus, Swinging London! Phyllis Raphael has bid her memory speak, and we can only listen. It is a pleasure to do so." - David Rakoff, author of Don't Get Too Comfortable and Fraud

"Her decision to stay in London with her children is the first she's made for herself in a long time and a turning point in this fascinating book. Her weeding through London's poseurs and hypochondriacs to find a good man is laugh-aloud funny. She emerges a full-fledged single woman." - The Los Angeles Times

"Every sentence is constructed with enviable grace and economy . . . Rare and evocative." - Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy

"Tender, hilarious and utterly charming." - Hilma Wolitzer, author of An Available Man

"A sheer delight." - Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of Two-Part Inventions

"Hugely enjoyable, a chronicle of a feverish time as well as a riveting personal journey." - Molly Haskell, author of Love and Other Infectious Diseases

"On the money and deliciously deadpan. It is also very, very smart." - Patricia Volk, author of Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me

"As vivid and engrossing as any novel." - Frances Kiernan, author of Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy

"Wonderful . . . witty, wry and irrepressible." - Elizabeth Kendall, author of American Daughter: Discovering My Mother

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