Rosemary Hill writes:
The friendship with Clapp that is the spine of this volume grew out of Carter’s work for the LRB, where Clapp was an editor and Carter a valued if irregular contributor. She could deliver, Clapp recalls, ‘with equal pungency on the ANC and on Colette’, when, that is, she delivered at all. Though notoriously disinclined to housework (‘people would come in and write 1789 in the dust’), she was willing to do anything, up to and including ironing sheets, to avoid a deadline. The postcards that punctuate the book, each one the occasion for an excursion by Clapp into biography or reminiscence, are also sometimes laconic, even for postcards, the understatement a striking and curious contrast to the exuberance of her published work. Round these brief bulletins Clapp weaves an engaging and acute memoir of her friend and also of the period, now just slipping from memory into history.