Love Is Where It Falls

Passionate is the key word here. Not only because it accurately describes the relationship between actor/director Simon Callow and Peggy Ramsay, doyenne of late-twentieth century literary agents, but also because it characterizes the writing itself. Love Is Where It Falls: The Story of a Passionate Friendship is a rhapsodic account of their eleven-year friendship, full of poetry and music, lavish in its intimate descriptions of personality and richly dramatic in it recreations of personal history. Callow, celebrated as a daringly extravagant actor on stage and screen, has become something of a virtuoso author as well, producing a seminal book on acting and acclaimed biographies of Charles Laughton and Orson Welles. So while his gifts as a writer are not surprising, the intensely close-to-the-bone quality of this memoir truly is a bit of a shock, though an entirely welcome one. Part love letter, part confession, part elegy, it is all, unabashedly, heart and soul.

From the moment he burst into her office in 1980 until her death in 1991, Callow and Peggy Ramsay were, in their own words, fated to be bound together—emotionally, artistically, spiritually, financially. Quite simply, the tough-talking, fiercely independent, seventy-year-old agent had fallen in love with the thirty- year-old gay actor, who had himself just begun an intense affair with an exquisite young (ultimately suicidal) expatriate filmmaker. Callow, for his part, was equally swept...

(The entire section is 510 words.)