LETTERS FROM A SUSPECTED SOVIET SPY
By Fiona Fullerton
To be published by Waterside Press
On September 10th 2012 at £19.95, Hardback, and Kindle, £7.99
She was a glamorous actress who played a KGB double agent in a Bond movie, he was a suspected Cold War Spy imprisoned for life - the true story of how two people forged a 30 year friendship against all odds
7th September 2012 - When a prisoner writes to a movie star, normally the best they can hope for is a signed picture. So when prisoner 789959, Anthony Alexandrowicz wrote to actress Fiona Fullerton he certainly didn’t expect it to lead to a friendship that would last over 30 years. In Dear Fiona - Letters from a Suspected Soviet Spy (September 10th 2012, Waterside Press, £19.95), Fiona Fullerton tells the true story of her correspondence and burgeoning friendship with the prisoner who was to serve 22 years for a crime he didn’t commit. How he provided wise counsel on her marriage, career and divorce, while she supported him through his seemingly endless sentence, and her search for him after he eventually left prison.
Serving two discretionary life sentences, Anthony - known as Alex, a suspected KGB Cold War Spy - was a Category A prisoner in Parkhurst protesting his innocence, when he wrote a fan letter to the young actress in the early stages of her career. She replied, intrigued by his humour, tender poetry and remarkable handwriting. Dear Fiona is a touching memoir of how two people from completely different backgrounds forged an extraordinary friendship and how they came to rely on each other for mutual support and trust during challenging times.
“Sometimes, a true friend can come to you from the most extraordinary circumstances. And so it was with Alex.” Fiona Fullerton
“It is you alone who has given me strength while I have been in prison, the strength to restore lost and dying hope into burning resolution.” Alex Alexandrowicz
Based on their original letters and including some of Alex’s beautiful poems, the story is one of extreme contrast - the darkness of a man incarcerated by an immoveable, closed system and a woman surrounded by the brightest lights of show business. She found his letters wise, humorous and comforting. In return she was there for him during his interminable incarceration and gave him a lifeline to the outside world, but one different to anything he could imagine. This book is about these differing worlds and how between them they both found a better one.
“Alex Alexandrowicz’s story is one of a disturbing miscarriage of justice.
Fiona Fullerton’s book makes for compulsive reading and poses profound questions about the justice system here.”
Edward Fitzgerald QC
Notes to editors:
Stockists info: Dear Fiona - Letters from a suspected Soviet Spy (September 10th 2012, Waterside Press, Hardback £19.95 (ISBN 978-1-904380-85-6) and Kindle £7.99 (ISBN 978-1-908162-16-8). Available to pre-order from Amazon and from leading bookshops.
About the author:
Fiona Fullerton’s acting career encompassed movies, television and West End theatre. She played Anastasia in the Academy Award winning ‘Nicholas and Alexandra’, the title role in ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’ with Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and Michael Crawford, and KGB double agent, Pola Ivanova, in ‘A View To a Kill’ with Roger Moore. She was in the popular BBC TV series ‘Angels’ and starred in ITV’s ‘The Charmer’ with Nigel Havers. Her many stage roles include Guinevere in ‘Camelot’ opposite Richard Harris and ‘Eliza Dolittle’ in Pygmalion. In 1995 Fiona retired from acting and became a property columnist, writer and property investment specialist. She lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and two children.
All publicity enquiries including requests for interviews, review copies and images to Becky Charman on 07957 474568, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tracey Bretherton, LawsonClarke, email@example.com, T: 01285 658844
The official book launch of Dear Fiona will take place at 6pm for 6.30pm, 27th September at the Royal Festival Hall, London, at the 50th Anniversary Exhibition for the Koestler Trust, the UK's best-known prison arts charity (www.koestlertrust.org.uk). To reserve a place, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
LETTERS FROM A SUSPECTED SOVIET SPY
Q&A with Fiona Fullerton
Why did you decide to write this memoir, and now?
In February 2011 I came across his letters by chance. On re-reading them I realised how beautiful they were and how I had underestimated the strength of our rather unusual friendship. When I found my letters as well, I knew a book was possible.
What experience did you have writing the book?
It made me profoundly sad that Alex had suffered for so long and that we had lost touch. So I decided I had to find him to see how he was coping and whether I could help in any way. The letters also provided an intriguing glimpse into my life during the 70s and 80s.
What did Alex teach you about his life?
Alex taught me that retaining a sense of humour, even in his darkest hours, could save him from despair. He learnt how to protect himself in prison and was often in solitary confinement, which can do terrible things to your mind. Only the strong survive. Contact with the outside world is crucial, so my letters became a lifeline. He could draw, paint and write poetry but after 10 years the system began to wear him down and he started to withdraw emotionally.
What did you learn about your own life from Alex?
I was leading a glamorous, privileged life but after a while it felt superficial and empty. I was lonely and pretending to be happy. He would tell me to be honest with myself and took on the role of mentor.
What form does your relationship with Alex take today, how do you spend time together?
Alex is still institutionalized despite 19 years of freedom so I feel very protective towards him and care for him as if he were my brother, and he has now become a part of my family. There is a deep affection between us based on trust and mutual respect. We enjoy doing simple things together such as visiting galleries or walking along a canal, where he observes beauty in all things.