Muriel Spark - Author

About the Author

Muriel Spark, DBE, C.Litt., was born in Edinburgh in 1918 and educated in Scotland. A poet and novelist, she also wrote children’s books, radio plays, a comedy Doctors of Philosophy, (first performed in London in 1962 and published 1963) and biographies of nineteenth-century literary figures, including Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë.

For her long career of literary achievement, which began in 1951, when she won a short-story competition in the Observer, Muriel Spark garnered international praise and many awards, which include the David Cohen Prize for Literature, the Ingersoll T.S. Eliot Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Boccaccio Prize for European Literature, the Gold Pen Award, the first Enlightenment Award and the Italia Prize for dramatic radio. She died in 2006.

Author photo © P A Archive and Press Association Images

Featured books by Muriel Spark

Other books by Muriel Spark

Aiding and Abetting

Aiding and Abetting

Author: Muriel Spark, Louise Welsh Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Hildegard Wolf is a German psychiatrist who lives a comfortable life in Paris. When she encounters a client who claims to be Lord Lucan, she can't help but be intrigued. After all, he's the second man who has claimed to be the elusive lord. But which one is the imposter? This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.

Reality and Dreams

Reality and Dreams

Author: Muriel Spark, Kirsty Gunn Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Described by Gore Vidal as `a novel written at the top of her form and so unique', Reality and Dreams concerns the delirious, egocentric film director Tom Richards, who is recovering from injuries sustained while falling off a crane on set. His obsessive passion to make a film about a simple young woman sucks his wife, daughters, lovers and friends into a maelstrom of destruction. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.

The Finishing School

The Finishing School

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Often described as the perfect partner to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark's last novel is set in Switzerland where Rowland and his wife Nina run a finishing school. Murderous jealousy soon rears its head when a precocious young student shows promise in her writing career. This is `Spark at her sharpest, her purest and her most merciful' - Ali Smith. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.

Symposium

Symposium

Author: Muriel Spark, Alexander McCall Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/08/2018

Described by Time Magazine as `a lethal comedy', Symposium centres around a dinner party and the lives of the five couples in attendance, including a burglary ring, a convent of Marxist nuns and several unexplained deaths. A devilish tale. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.

The Only Problem

The Only Problem

Author: Muriel Spark, Richard Holloway Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/07/2018

Wealthy Canadian scholar Harvey Gotham lives in splendid isolation in France and is working on a book about Job. He loves his wife, Effie, dearly but she has taken to planting bombs in supermarkets and has joined an anarchist group. Here, Spark returns to the Book of Job, which had always fascinated her, and `the only problem' - the problem of suffering. Why does God allow it? A despairing and exhilarating read, The Only Problem is a masterwork. This is one of the 22 novels written by Muriel Spark in her lifetime. All are being published by Polygon in hardback Centenary Editions between November 2017 and September 2018.

The Comforters

The Comforters

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/06/2018

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/06/2018

The Ballad of Peckham Rye

The Ballad of Peckham Rye

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/06/2018

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark, A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2018

Remember you must die. Dame Lettie Colston is the first of her circle to receive insinuating anonymous phone calls. Neither she, nor her friends, wish to be reminded of their mortality, and their geriatric feathers are thoroughly ruffled. As the caller's activities become more widespread, old secrets are dusted off, exposing post and present duplicities, self-deception and blackmail. Nobody is above suspicion. Witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more. Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

The Observing Eye The Sayings of Muriel Spark

The Observing Eye The Sayings of Muriel Spark

Author: Muriel Spark, Penelope Jardine Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2018

The Observing Eye is a collection of Muriel Spark's brilliant asides, sayings, and aphorisms. No other writer can hold a candle to her wry, puckish observations: 'Neurotics are awfully quick to notice other people's mentalities.' 'It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.' 'The sacrifice of pleasure is of course itself a pleasure.' 'Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time in your life it may occur.' 'Ridicule is the only honourable weapon we have left.' Spark's striking insights are precise and unforgettable - they will make you laugh and nod in agreement, with a wicked smile on your face. Her wise words never fail to hit exactly the right note.

A Good Comb The Sayings of Muriel Spark

A Good Comb The Sayings of Muriel Spark

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2018

The Informed Air Essays

The Informed Air Essays

Author: Muriel Spark, Penelope Jardine Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/01/2018

The Complete Short Stories

The Complete Short Stories

Author: Muriel Spark, Janice Galloway Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/01/2018

From the cruel irony of 'A member of the Family' to the fateful echoes of 'The Go-Away Bird' and the unexpectedly sinister 'The Girl I Left Behind Me', in settings that range from South Africa to the Portobello Road, Muriel Spark probes the idiosyncrasies that lurk beneath the veneer of human respectability, displaying the acerbic wit and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her unique talent. The Complete Short Stories is a collection to be loved and cherished, from one of the finest short story writers of the twentieth century.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/2017

Miss Jean Brodie is a rare breed of teacher - passionate, independent-minded and romantically inspired, with not the slightest care for convention. She soon garners a devoted following of six young girls, who will become known as `the Brodie set', and begins to shape them in her own image. But Miss Brodie is more than just an individual with an intense desire to control and mould her girls. Beneath the facade of this self-possessed woman lie some sinister truths, and a keen interest in fascism . . . A tour de force of contemporary Scottish literature, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark is a compelling portrait of a woman's dark quest for immortality. This Macmillan Collector's Library edition features an afterword by publisher Anna South. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much-loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.

Spark's Europe Not to Disturb: The Takeover: The Only Problem

Spark's Europe Not to Disturb: The Takeover: The Only Problem

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

From the grimly gothic Not to Disturb to the razor-sharp dissection of manners The Takeover and the mordantly brilliant The Only Problem, in a panoramic sweep taking in the shores of the Italian lakes to the castles of Geneva, Muriel Spark casts her unflinching gaze over the continent and onto some of the odder specimens of human nature abounding there. By turns savage, witty and profound, Spark's Europe reaffirms Muriel Spark as one of the most important novelists of the twentieth century.

Spark's Satire Aiding and Abetting: The Abbess of Crewe: Robinson

Spark's Satire Aiding and Abetting: The Abbess of Crewe: Robinson

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

From a fraudulent psychiatrist grappling with two equally fraudulent clients in Aiding and Abetting, to the dirty dealings of The Abbess of Crewe's band of corrupt nuns, to the three plane crash survivors of Robinson eking out an existence on an Atlantic island after its resident mystic disappears, these three satires probe the recesses of human fallibility with formidable precision. Spanning five decades, the glittering, sharp and sinister works of Spark's Satire confirm their author as one of our most incisive and wickedly funny satirists.

John Masefield

John Masefield

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

Before she published her distinguished novels, Muriel Spark first made her name as a critic and poet. Her discerning study of the poet and novelist John Masfield will therefore be doubly welcome, as an example of her earlier work, and as one of the best introductions to Masefield. With characteristic insight, Spark shows Masfield's development as a storyteller, through his early lyrics to his long narrative poems and finally his prose, together with his gift for observation of the life around him. John Masefield (1878-1967) lived a life as varied as his work. At the age of fifteen he went to sea as an apprentice in a windjammer and made the voyage round Cape Horn. The next three years he spent in New York, in a bakery, a livery stable, a saloon and a carpet factory. Back in England, he wrote for the Guardian and in the First World War served with the Red Cross. Throughout these years he had been writing poetry, and when in 1923 his Collected Poems appeared they sold over 200,000 copies. In 1930 he succeeded Robert Bridges as Poet Laureate.He was a prodigious novelist, essayist and poet; among his best known works are The Everlasting Mercy, Dauber, Reynard the Fox, Sard Marker and The Midnight Folk. 'I feel a large amount of my writing on him can be applied generally', wrote Spark in 1992: 'It is in many ways a statement of my position as a literary critic and I hope some readers will recognise it as such.'

The Finishing School

The Finishing School

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

'One of her funniest novels . . . Spark at her sharpest, her purest and her most merciful' ALI SMITH In The Finishing School Muriel Spark is once again at her biting, satirical best. On the edge of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, a struggling would-be novelist and his wife run a finishing school of questionable reputation to keep the funds flowing. When a seventeen-year-old student's writing career begins to show great promise, tensions run high. A keen portrait of devouring regret, psychological unravelling and the glittering promise of youth, The Finishing School is the perfect natural partner to Muriel Spark's most famous novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

The Bachelors

The Bachelors

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/12/2015

The Bachelors displays the best of Sparkian satire, placing her at the heart of a great literary tradition alongside Waugh and Trollope, Wilde and Wodehouse. It demands rediscovery. 'It's easy to see why Waugh admired The Bachelors. On one level, it is a blithely carnivorous satire in the Waugh mould. The bachelors of the title - almost the only men we meet in the narrative - are the thirty-something male barristers, teachers, journalists and museum attendants of a small patch of West London. They lead inturned, doddery, superannuated lives, pottering between grocers, coffee-houses, bedsits and the houses of their mothers and aunts. But the comedy here is serious in a way that Waugh's satanically energetic comedies of misery rarely are . . . comedies of English manners have seldom been darker' Daily Telegraph 'My admiration for Spark's contribution to world literature knows no bounds. She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the creme de la creme' Ian Rankin 'Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards, decisive as a smashed glass is decisive' John Updike, New Yorker

Bachelors

Bachelors

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

The Bachelors displays the best of Sparkian satire, placing her at the heart of a great literary tradition alongside Waugh and Trollope, Wilde and Wodehouse. It demands rediscovery. 'It's easy to see why Waugh admired The Bachelors. On one level, it is a blithely carnivorous satire in the Waugh mould. The bachelors of the title - almost the only men we meet in the narrative - are the thirty-something male barristers, teachers, journalists and museum attendants of a small patch of West London. They lead inturned, doddery, superannuated lives, pottering between grocers, coffee-houses, bedsits and the houses of their mothers and aunts. But the comedy here is serious in a way that Waugh's satanically energetic comedies of misery rarely are . . . comedies of English manners have seldom been darker' Daily Telegraph'Completely, searingly original' Independent'My admiration for Spark's contribution to world literature knows no bounds. She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the crme de la crme' Ian Rankin'Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards, decisive as a smashed glass is decisive' John Updike, New Yorker

Robinson

Robinson

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

When a plane crashes on a remote island, the three survivors find themselves the unwanted guests of the island's mysterious sole inhabitant, Robinson. In the blazing heat at the foot of a volcano, tensions come to a climax and events take an ominous turn when one of the party disappears. As one of the survivors begins to write a journal, reality increasingly blurs with fiction . . . Robinson is Spark's dark and sizzling tale of human manipulation.

Not to Disturb

Not to Disturb

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

Behind the high walls of a mansion in Geneva a night of sinister revelry is about to begin . . . In the staff quarters, the servants led by the cool, unflappable butler are preparing for the downfall of the Baron and Baroness. Meanwhile in the attic, the Baron's invalid brother awaits his fate as an unwitting pawn in their devious plans. And in the library, the Baron, the Baroness and their young handsome secretary are locked in a mysterious, heated discussion. As the macabre scenario plays itself out, a world of grim humour and gruesome possibilities unfolds . . .

Abbess of Crewe

Abbess of Crewe

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

The Abbess of Crewe is Muriel Spark's razor sharp, wickedly humorous and surreal satire of a real life political scandal - reimagined within the claustrophobic walls of a convent. A steely, Machiavellian nun, secret surveillance, corruption, cloak-and-dagger plotting, rivalries and a rigged election all send the wonderful cast of characters into disarray as a chain of events unfold that become weirder and weirder.

Takeover

Takeover

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

In the cool, historic sanctuary of Nemi rests the spirit of Diana, the Benevolent-Malign Goddess whose priests once stalked the sacred grove. Now Hubert Mallindaine, self-styled descendent of the Italian huntress, has claimed spiritual rights to a villa at Nemi - a villa with a view to kill. But his protector, the indestructible millionaire Maggie Radcliffe, has withdrawn her patronage - and the supplicant sets out to appease his ancestress. With gruesome results . . .

Only Problem

Only Problem

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

Having led a successful, comfortable life, Harvey Gotham retires to the French countryside to pursue bookish obsessions and writing. But when the French police discover his estranged wife's involvement in a terrorist group, suspicion falls on Gotham himself and a series of misfortunes threaten to destroy everything he holds dear.

Aiding and Abetting

Aiding and Abetting

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/12/2015

Aiding and Abetting is Muriel Spark's mordant and witty satirical take on the true crime genre, a novel of fraudsters, imposters, murderers and aiders and abetters. In Paris, a psychiatrist finds herself treating two elderly gentlemen who both claim to be the notorious British fugitive Lord Lucan. But who, if either, is the real Lord Lucan? Can she discover the truth before her own dark secret is revealed?

Complete Poems: Muriel Spark

Complete Poems: Muriel Spark

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/10/2015

In her foreword to All The Poems (2003) Muriel Spark wrote, 'Although most of my life has been devoted to fiction, I have always thought of myself as a poet. I do not write poetic prose, but feel that my outlook on life and my perceptions of events are those of a poet.' Including previously uncollected work, this new edition demonstrates her ear for the rightness of a line and her eye for the telling detail, her command of poetic forms and her ability to rise to the different challenges of freer verse. Spark's poems are witty, idiosyncratic and haunting, transforming the familiar into glittering moments of strangeness, revealing the dark - and light - music beneath the mundane.

Essence of the Brontes A Compilation with Essays

Essence of the Brontes A Compilation with Essays

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/09/2014

First published by Peter Owen in 1993, this book brings together Muriel Spark's writings on the Bronte sisters, including a selection of their letters and a selection of Emily Bronte's poems. Perceptively but unsentimentally, Spark considers the Brontes' lives and works, including their generally disastrous attempts at teaching, and reflects on her own fascination, as a writer and a reader, with Emily Bronte and with 'the immortal Wuthering Heights and its nightmare hero'. This edition features a new foreword by Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor at the Independent.

The Bachelors

The Bachelors

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/05/2014

The Informed Air Essays

The Informed Air Essays

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/04/2014

Golden Fleece Essays

Golden Fleece Essays

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/2014

The essays, reviews, memoirs and other writings collected here for the first time conjure up one of the great critical imaginations of our time. Grouped into four sections (Art and Poetry; Autobiography and Travel; Literature; and Religion, Politics and Philosophy), they demonstrate the wide range of Muriel Spark's knowledge and interests, and throw into relief the people, places and ideas that inspired her throughout her life as a working writer. The book includes perceptive essays on literary figures including the Brontes, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot and Robert Louis Stevenson; engaging accounts of visits to John Masefield, Edith Sitwell, and Louis MacNeice's home (in the absence of its owner); and reflections on the sermons of Cardinal Newman and the Old Testament book of Job as perennially rich sources of spiritual nourishment. The novelist's eye for the telling detail is evident in portraits of the cities - Venice, Rome, Ravenna, Istanbul - which Muriel Spark visited or in which she made her home. As Penelope Jardine puts it in her preface, this book 'tells many things'.

Territorial Rights A Virago Modern Classic

Territorial Rights A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Robert wants nothing more than to become a serious art historian. But his hopes for an academic life are put on hold when he's driven from London to Venice to escape one lover and seek out another: the enigmatic Bulgarian refugee Lina Pancev. In Venice, Robert encounters a grand carnival of lust, lies, blackmail, cocktail parties and regicide. As he chases Lina, his heart's desire, the city itself provides a priceless education in love, art and beauty.

The Public Image A Virago Modern Classic

The Public Image A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2014

Annabel Christopher is every inch the star: a glamorous actress with a devoted, handsome husband. To keep the paparazzi and her adoring public under her spell, her perfect image must be carefully cultivated, whatever the cost. Beneath the facade, though, her husband cannot bear her or their vapid existence. Envious of her success, he plots his revenge and stages a scandal even Annabel will find a challenge to recover from.

A Far Cry from Kensington

A Far Cry from Kensington

Author: Muriel Spark Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/03/2014

The narrator is one Mrs. Hawkins. She writes from Italy, a far cry from Kensington indeed, taking us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. As a young, rather fat war-widow she spent her days working for a crazy, almost bankrupt publisher; and her nights offering advice from her boarding-house in South Kensington. In both locations our heroine soon uncovered difficulties: shady literary dealings; anonymous letters, blackmail, and even suicide.

The Girls Of Slender Means

The Girls Of Slender Means

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/06/2013

Beautifully packaged reissue of one of Muriel Spark's best loved novels, The Girls of Slender Means 'Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions' In the May of Teck Club - a London hostel 'three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit' - the young lady residents do their best to act as if the war never happened. They practice elocution, and jostle one another over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. But behind the girls' giddy literary and amorous peregrinations they hide some tragically painful secrets and wounds.'You girls are my vocation . . . I am dedicated to you in my prime' 'Reading the novel as a young woman was a random gift; rereading it today is to encounter the rarest of fiction and to appreciate the early and enduring genius of Muriel Spark' Carol Shields, Guardian 'One of Spark's most evocative novels' Anne Taylor Muriel Spark was born and educated in Edinburgh. She was active in the field of creative writing since 1950, when she won a short-story writing competition in the Observer, and her many subsequent novels include Memento Mori (1959), The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Girls of Slender Means (1963) and Aiding and Abetting (2000). She also wrote plays, poems, children's books and biographies. She became Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1993, and died in 2006.

The Mandelbaum Gate A Virago Modern Classic

The Mandelbaum Gate A Virago Modern Classic

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2013

When Barbara Vaughan's fiance joins an archaeological excursion to the Dead Sea Scrolls, she takes the opportunity to explore the Holy Land. It is 1961, and the nation of Israel is still in its infancy. For Barbara, a half-Jewish Catholic convert, this is a journey of faith, and she ignores warnings not to cross the Mandelbaum Gate from Israel into Jordan. An adventure of espionage and abduction, from pilgrimage to flight, The Mandelbaum Gate is one of Spark's most compelling novels, and won the James Tait Memorial Prize.

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/2013

In the summer of 1816, aged nineteen, Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein. A pioneering work of science fiction, it captured the popular imagination from the start. The daughter of radical philosopher William Godwin and pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley lived an unconventional life marred by tragedy. At sixteen she scandalised England by eloping with her married lover, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, but was widowed after only a few years when he drowned. She survived him by nearly thirty years, supporting herself and their one surviving son largely by the pen. Muriel Spark had a lifelong fascination with Mary Shelley. She published her first book on her in 1951, then spent decades revising and refining it. It is reissued here with previously unpublished material. Spark paints an engaging portrait of a complex and misunderstood figure. She divides her study into parts, 'Biographical' and 'Critical'. A sympathetic account of Shelley's life is followed by critical studies of her major literary works. Spark's abridgement of Shelley's uneven apocalyptic novel The Last Man is included here, while her initial scheme for the book and her later preface, in which she reflects on her own subsequent career as a novelist, are added. This is a fascinating study of Mary Shelley's life and work. It also provides valuable insight into the critical and creative development of Muriel Spark.

The Driver's Seat

The Driver's Seat

Author: Muriel Spark Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/01/2013

Lise has been driven to distraction by working in the same accountants' office for sixteen years. So she leaves everything behind her and flies abroad on the holiday of a lifetime. But her trip takes on a far darker significance as she heads on a journey of self-destruction. Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in an unnamed southern city, as she meets her fate.

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2012

Muriel Spark's classic The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie features a schoolmistress you'll never forget, in this beautifully repackaged Penguin Essentials edition. 'Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life . . .' Passionate, free-thinking and unconventional, Miss Brodie is a teacher who exerts a powerful influence over her group of 'special girls' at Marcia Blaine School. They are the Brodie set, the creme de la creme, each famous for something - Monica for mathematics, Eunice for swimming, Rose for sex - who are initiated into a world of adult games and extracurricular activities they will never forget. But the price they pay is their undivided loyalty . . . The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a brilliantly comic novel featuring one of the most unforgettable characters in all literature. 'Muriel Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards' John Updike 'Spark's most celebrated novel' Independent 'There is no question about the quality and distinctiveness of her writing, with its quirky concern with human nature, and its comedy' William Boyd 'A brilliant psychological figure' Observer Muriel Spark was born and educated in Edinburgh. She was active in the field of creative writing since 1950, when she won a short-story writing competition in the Observer, and her many subsequent novels include Memento Mori (1959), The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Girls of Slender Means (1963) and Aiding and Abetting (2000). She also wrote plays, poems, children's books and biographies. She became Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1993, and died in 2006.

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

Muriel Spark's timeless classic about a controversial teacher who deeply marks the lives of a select group of students in the years leading up to World War II';Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!' So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to moldand she doesn't stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie's indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others.The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is Spark's masterpiece, a novel that offers one of twentieth-century English literature's most iconic and complex charactersa woman at once admirable and sinister, benevolent and conniving.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Only Problem

Only Problem

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

A wealthy academic's life shatters when his estranged wife becomes the suspected leader of a terrorist organizationHaving led a successful, comfortable life, Harvey Gotham retires to the French countryside to pursue bookish obsessionsnamely, a long monograph on the Book of Job, the biblical narrative of faith in the face of extraordinary suffering. But Gotham's intellectual interests soon bleed into his daily life when a series of misfortunes, from a destructive affair to his wife's involvement with an extremist group, threaten to destroy everything he holds dear.Hailed by the New York Times as ';an extremely sophisticated account of the perils that surround our unsuspecting lives in the world today,'The Only Problem balances Spark's unique blend of razor-sharp satire and moral introspection in one fast-paced, absorbing novel.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Mandelbaum Gate

Mandelbaum Gate

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

For Barbara Vaughn, a checkpoint between Jordan and the newly formed Israel is the threshold to painful self-discoveryBarbara Vaughn is a scholarly woman whose fascination with religion stems partly from a conversion to Catholicism, and partly from her own half-Jewish background. When her boyfriend joins an archaeological excursion to search for additional Dead Sea Scrolls, Vaughn takes the opportunity to explore the Holy Land. But this is 1960, and with the nation of Israel still in its infancy, the British Empire in retreat from the region, and the Eichmann trials in full swing, Vaughn uncovers much deeper mysteries than those found at tourist sites.Both an espionage thriller and a journey of faith, The Mandelbaum Gate won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize upon its publication, and is one of Spark's most compelling novels.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Takeover

Takeover

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

Heiress Maggie Radcliffe owns three glamorous villas overlooking Lake Nemiand one houseguest will stop at nothing to take it allWhen American heiress Maggie Radcliffe relocates to the enchanting Lake Nemi, just south of Rome, she does so wishing to live in tune with ancient pagan rhythms of art and nature. Constantly surrounded by a cast of quirky characters, Radcliffe finds her latest guest in the form of old friendand unrepentant grafterHubert Mallindaine. Mallindaine claims to be a direct descendent of the goddess Diana, whose spirit is said to rest at Nemi. As soon as he arrives, Radcliffe's vast material wealth begins to slip quietly out the door. While Radcliffe attempts to evict Mallindaine from her house, a host of new problems arise, all threatening to destroy everything Radcliffe holds dear.Bold and incisive, The Takeover is an acidic comedy about the clash between the conventions of old wealth and the inevitable tide of modernity.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Hothouse by the East River

Hothouse by the East River

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

Touched by madness and haunted by a secret past, Paul and Elsa's relationship reveals that there can be no normality for people who witnessed the worst of warIn 1970s New York, Paul and Elsa are like many other well-off middle-aged couples, worrying over their apartment and psychoanalyst bills by day, and meeting friends at restaurants by night. But this is not an ordinary couple with ordinary neuroses, as becomes clear when Paul convinces himself that Elsa's shadow always points in the wrong direction. As Paul and Elsa's involvement in World War II espionage begins to surface, the glitz and glamor of their lives is revealed to be nothing more than illusion.The Hothouse by the East River is a delirious satire of superficial urban life in the shadow of one of modern history's great horrors.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Territorial Rights

Territorial Rights

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

';Once in a while . . . a book comes along that is beautifully put together and effortlessly entertaining; Muriel Spark's Territorial Rights is such a novel.' The New York TimesRobert wants nothing more than to become a serious art historian. But his hopes for a staid academic life are put on hold when he's driven from London to Venice to escape one lover and seek out another: the enigmatic Bulgarian refugee Lina Pancev. In Venice, Robert encounters a grand carnival of lust, lies, blackmail, cocktail parties, and regicide. As he chases Lina, his heart's desire, the city itself provides a priceless education in love, art, and beauty.Witty yet elegant, Territorial Rights is a celebration of human imperfection and complexity, with as many shifting identities, wardrobe changes, and sumptuous settings as a comic opera.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Reality and Dreams

Reality and Dreams

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

';Sleek and suggestive . . . [Reality and Dreams] is so smart and seductive that you fail to notice how completely you've accepted a world gone utterly awry.' Kirkus ReviewsBritish film director Tom Richard won acclaim for his moments of pure creative inspiration. But when Richard is hospitalized after toppling from a crane during a shoot, he awakes not knowing what is real and what is notand with no idea who to trust. Soon his wife, children, and friends are all undergoing crises of their own, from the breakup of a marriage to the loss of a job. As Richard fights to regain his health and stay centered amid the swirling chaos of his personal life, he must also wrest control of his filmhis most prized pursuitfrom those who seek to take it away.Witty andengrossing, Reality and Dreams is a whiplash ride through the highs and lows of the creative process.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Doctors of Philosophy

Doctors of Philosophy

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 20/03/2012

The only play by famed Scottish author Muriel Spark takes on the dilemmas of two intellectually ambitious women in 1960s EnglandIn a home overlooking London's Regent's Canal in the 1960s, two scholars debate the choices they have made with their lives. Catherine Delfont was one of the most promising minds of her generation, but after earning her PhD she gave up her research to marry a well-regarded economist and raise a family. Her cousin Leonora stayed in academia and became a successful classicist, able to observe both the breadth of history and the lives of others with brilliant, cool detachment. Together, they face the sacrifices they have made as women and intellectuals.First performed in London in 1962 and later in Scandinavia, where it was produced by Ingmar Bergman, Doctors of Philosophy is a fascinating artifact of early second-wave feminism.This ebook features an illustrated biography of Muriel Spark including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's archive at the National Library of Scotland.

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 12/01/2012

Famous novel made into a cult film, and one of only 25 books chosen for the first ever World BookNight in 2011. A liberated young schoolteacher at an Edinburgh girls' school during the 1930's instructs her girls on the ways of life. Ignoring the more mundane subjects, she teaches them of love, politics and art, with some shocking consequences.

Far Cry from Kensington

Far Cry from Kensington

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2011

Set on the crazier fringes of 1950s literary London, A Far Cry from Kensington is a delight, hilariously portraying love, fraud, death, evil, and transformation. Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher ("e;of very good books"e;) and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming house. At work and at home Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, however, Mrs. Hawkins confidently set about putting things to order, little imagining the mayhem that would ensue. Now decades older, thin, successful, and delighted with life in Italy-quite a far cry from Kensington-Mrs. Hawkins looks back to all those dark doings and recounts how her own life changed forever. She still, however, loves to give advice: "e;It's easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, only half...I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book."e;

Not to Disturb A Novel

Not to Disturb A Novel

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2010

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark, A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/02/2010

Unforgettably astounding and a joy to read, Memento Mori is considered by many to be the greatest novel by the wizardly Dame Muriel Spark. In late 1950s London, something uncanny besets a group of elderly friends: an insinuating voice on the telephone informs each, Remember you must die. Their geriatric feathers are soon thoroughly ruffled by these seemingly supernatural phone calls, and in the resulting flurry many old secrets are dusted off. Beneath the once decorous surface of their lives, unsavories like blackmail and adultery are now to be glimpsed. As spooky as it is witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.

Curriculum Vitae A Volume of Autobiography

Curriculum Vitae A Volume of Autobiography

Author: Muriel Spark, Elaine Feinstein Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/11/2009

Muriel Spark in the autobiography traces how one of the great modern writers in English emerged. Beginning with luminous evocations of a 1920s childhood in Edinburgh and memories of school, taught by the original Miss Jean Brodie, Spark recalls her formative years, up to the publication of her first novel in 1957. `In order to write about life as I intended to do, I felt I had first to live,' Spark says. In her account of her unhappy marriage in colonial Africa, her return to wartime London on a troop ship, working at the Foreign Office as one of the `girls of slender means', editing Poetry Review and her conversion to Catholicism, Muriel Spark outlines the life that provided material for some of the best-loved novels of the twentieth century.

A Far Cry From Kensington

A Far Cry From Kensington

Author: Muriel Spark, Ali Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2009

'Mercurially funny, playful and mischievous' Ali Smith 'I was in heaven reading this book. I think she writes like an angel . . . just blissful' Stephen Fry A novel of 'pure delight' (Claire Tomalin) by the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. When Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he 'urinates frightful prose', little does she realise the repercussions. Holding that 'no life can be carried on satisfactorily unless people are honest' Mrs Hawkins refuses to retract her judgement, and as a consequence, loses not one, but two much-sought-after jobs in publishing. Now, years older, successful, and happily a far cry from Kensington, she looks back over the dark days that followed, in which she was embroiled in a mystery involving anonymous letters, quack remedies, blackmail and suicide. With an introduction by Ali Smith. 'Wonderfully entertaining.' Sunday Telegraph 'An outstanding novel ... A Far Cry From Kensington has an effortless, translucent grasp of the spirit of the period.' Observer

Mandelbaum Gate

Mandelbaum Gate

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 24/08/2009

The Mandelbaum Gate divides the conflict-torn realm of Jerusalem, separating Israel from Jordan. Barbara Vaughn, a stubborn young Englishwoman and half-Jewish Catholic convert, insists upon crossing the divide in order to rendezvous with her fiance, in spite of the very real danger. Not even the threat of bodily harm and fearful admonishments of staid British diplomat Freddy Hamilton can dissuade Barbara from her ill-timed pilgrimage. Her quest sets off a series of bizarre situations and adventures, set against the backdrop of the Eichmann trial of 1961. Muriel Spark has created a many-faceted novel, both comic and serious, enriched by a wealth of information.

The Comforters

The Comforters

Author: Muriel Spark, Ali Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2009

'The greatest Scottish novelist of modern times.' Ian Rankin In this first novel by Muriel Spark - author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - the only things that aren't ambiguous are Spark's matchless originality and glittering wit. With an introduction by Ali Smith. Caroline Rose is plagued by the tapping of typewriter keys and the strange, detached narration of her every thought and action. She has an unusual problem - she realises she is in a novel. Her fellow characters are also possibly deluded: Laurence, her former lover, finds diamonds in a loaf of bread - could his elderly grandmother really be a smuggler? And Baron Stock, her bookseller friend, believes he is on the trail of England's leading Satanist. 'A master of malice and mayhem.' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Brilliantly original and fascinating.' Evelyn Waugh 'A light, clever, mirthful tour de force ... It disrupts and charms its readers with its combination of wit, precision, intelligence and hilarity. As vibrant as ever, more than fifty years after its first appearance.' Ali Smith

Bachelors

Bachelors

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 30/10/2008

A barrister, a "e;priest,"e; a detective, a lovelorn Irishman, a handwriting expert, a heinous spiritual medium ... the very British bachelors of Muriel Spark's supreme 1960 novel come in every stripe. First found contentedly chatting in their London clubs and shopping at Fortnum's, the cozy bachelors are not set to stay cozy for long. Soon enough, the men are variously tormented-defrauded, stolen from, blackmailed, or pressed to attend horrid seances-and then plunged, all together, into the nastiest of lawsuits. At the center of that suit hovers pale, blank Patrick Seton, the medium. Meanwhile, horrors of every size plague the poor bachelors-from epileptic fits to forgeries, spiritualists foaming with protoplasm, and murder-and each horror delights, lit up by Spark's uncanny wit, at once malicious, funny, and deadly serious.

Girls of Slender Means

Girls of Slender Means

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 03/09/2008

"e;Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions..."e; Thus begins Muriel Spark's tragic and rapier-witted portrait of a London ladies' hostel just emerging from the shadow of World War II. Like the May of Teck Club building itself-"e;three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit"e;-its lady inhabitants do their best to act as if the world were back to normal, practicing elocution and jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. But the novel's harrowing ending reveals that the girls' giddy literary and amorous peregrinations are hiding some tragically painful war wounds.

A Far Cry From Kensington

A Far Cry From Kensington

Author: Muriel Spark, Ali Smith Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2008

With a cover design by Lucienne Day When Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he is a 'pisseur de copie', that he 'urinates frightful prose', little does she realise the repercussions. Holding that 'no life can be carried on satisfactorily unless people are honest' Mrs Hawkins refuses to retract her judgement, and as a consequence, loses not one, but two much-sought-after jobs in publishing. Now, years older, successful, and happily a far cry from Kensington, she looks back over the dark days that followed, in which she was embroiled in a mystery involving anonymous letters, quack remedies, blackmail and suicide.

Loitering With Intent

Loitering With Intent

Author: Muriel Spark, Mark Lawson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/01/2007

A funny and clever novel about art and reality and the way they imitate each other, from the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. With an introduction by Mark Lawson. Would-be novelist Fleur Talbot works for the snooty, irascible Sir Quentin Oliver at the Autobiographical Association, whose members are all at work on their memoirs. When her employer gets his hands on Fleur's novel-in-progress, mayhem ensues as its scenes begin coming true... Spark's inimitable style make this literary joyride thoroughly appealing. 'The most gloriously entertaining novel since The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.' AN Wilson, Spectator 'I read this book in a delirium of delight ... robust and full-bodied, a wise and mature work, and a brilliantly mischievous one.' New York Times Book Review

Symposium

Symposium

Author: Muriel Spark, Ian Rankin Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/09/2006

'The greatest Scottish novelist of modern times . . . She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the creme de la creme.' Ian Rankin One October evening five London couples gather for a dinner party, enjoying 'the pheasant (flambe in cognac as it is)' and waiting for the imminent arrival of the late-coming guest Hilda Damien, who has been unavoidably detained due to the fact that she is being murdered at this very moment. With an introduction by Ian Rankin. Symposium is Muriel Spark - one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century and author of classics including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - at her wicked best. 'A rich, heady, disturbing brew.' Lorna Sage 'Extremely clever and highly entertaining.' Penelope Lively 'Stiletto-sharp fiction.' Alan Taylor, Scotland on Sunday

The Ballad of Peckham Rye

The Ballad of Peckham Rye

Author: Muriel Spark, William Boyd Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/04/2006

A man of devilish charm and enterprising spirit, Dougal Douglas is employed to revitalize the ailing firm of Meadows, Meade & Grindley. He succeeds, but not quite in the way his employer intended. Strange things begin to happen as Dougal exerts an uncanny influence on the inhabitants of Peckham Rye and brings lies, tears, blackmail and even murder into the lives of all he meets, from Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, to Beauty, the resident femme fatale, and even Mr Druce, the unsuspecting Managing Director himself.

Finishing School

Finishing School

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/2006

College Sunrise is a vaguely disreputable finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on his novel. Into his creative writing class comes seventeen-year-old Chris Wiley, a literary prodigy whose historical novel-in-progress on Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley has already excited the interest of publishers. The inevitable results are keen envy and a game of cat and mouse not free of sexual jealousy and attraction. Nobody writing has a keener instinct than Muriel Spark for hypocrisy, self-delusion, and moral ambiguity, or a more deliciously satirical eye. The Finishing School is certain to be another Spark landmark.

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/2006

In the classic work that launched a play, a movie, and a song, Muriel Spark tells the darkly intriguing story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher and the intense relationship she develops with six of her students. At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, preaching the value of art, passion, and daring. She is also passionate in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and-most important-in her dedication to "e;her girls,"e; the students she selects to be her creme de la creme. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set-Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy-is "e;famous for something,"e; and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "e;Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."e; And they do. But one of them will betray her. Told from the unsympathetic perspective of one of Miss Brodie's students, this novel explores themes of innocence, betrayal, and the tension between cold rationality and unchecked emotionalism.

Memento Mori

Memento Mori

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 25/06/2005

Unforgettably astounding and a joy to read, Memento Mori is considered by many to be the greatest novel by the wizardly Dame Muriel Spark. In late 1950s London, a group of aging eccentrics is brought together by a series of uncanny events. Lettie Colston is the first to receive an anonymous phone call from an insinuating voice reminding her that she must die. Soon, ten of Lettie's friends also receive the call. In the flurry that results from these seemingly supernatural messages, a bizarre investigation is launched that reveals a network of deception binding the group, including such dark secrets as blackmail and adultery. As spooky as it is witty, poignant, and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.

Loitering with Intent

Loitering with Intent

Author: Muriel Spark Format: eBook Release Date: 23/06/2005

"e;How wonderful to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century,"e; Fleur Talbot rejoices. Loitering about London in 1949, with intent to gather material for her writing, Fleur finds a job "e;on the grubby edge of the literary world,"e; as secretary to the odd Autobiographical Association. Are they a group of mad egomaniacs, hilariously writing their memoirs in advance-or poor fools ensnared by a blackmailer? Rich material, in any case. But when its pompous director, Sir Quentin, steals the manuscript of Fleur's new novel, fiction begins to appropriate life. The association's members begin to act out scenes exactly as Fleur herself had already written them in her missing manuscript. And as they meet darkly funny, pre-visioned fates, where does art start or reality end? This novel is Muriel Spark in prime form, one of her most enjoyable, complex, and instructive jeux d'esprit.

Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie Girls of Slender Means, Driver's Seat & the Only Problem

Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie Girls of Slender Means, Driver's Seat & the Only Problem

Author: Muriel Spark, Frank Kermode Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2004

The brevity of Muriel Spark's novels is equaled only by their brilliance. These four novels, each a miniature masterpiece, illustrate her development over four decades. Despite the seriousness of their themes, all four are fantastic comedies of manners, bristling with wit. Spark's most celebrated novel, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE, tells the story of a charismatic schoolteacher's catastrophic effect on her pupils. THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS is a beautifully drawn portrait of young women living in a hostel in London in the giddy postwar days of 1945. THE DRIVER'S SEAT follows the final haunted hours of a woman descending into madness. And THE ONLY PROBLEM is a witty fable about suffering that brings the Book of Job to bear on contemporary terrorism. Characters are vividly etched in a few words; earth-shaking events are lightly touched on. Yet underneath the glittering surface there is an obsessive probing of metaphysical questions: the meaning of good and evil, the need for salvation, the search for significance.

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2003

Beautifully packaged reissue of Muriel Spark's best loved novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 'You girls are my vocation . . . I am dedicated to you in my prime' Miss Jean Brodie is a schoolmistress with a difference. She is proud, cultured and romantic but her educational ideas are highly progressive and even deeply shocking. So when she decides to transform a group of 'special girls' into the creme de la creme at Marcia Blaine School they are soon known, perhaps suspiciously, as the Brodie set. Introduced to an unsettling world of adult games and curious intrigues, the Brodie Set know that they are honoured and privileged. Yet there is a price to pay - they must give Miss Brodie their undivided loyalty . . . 'The most gifted and innovative British novelist of her generation' David Lodge, The New York Times 'Spark's novels linger in the mind as brilliant shards' John Updike, New Yorker 'One of the greatest books about growing up' James Wood, Guardian Muriel Spark was born and educated in Edinburgh. She was active in the field of creative writing since 1950, when she won a short-story writing competition in the Observer, and her many subsequent novels include Memento Mori (1959), The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Girls of Slender Means (1963) and Aiding and Abetting (2000). She also wrote plays, poems, children's books and biographies. She became Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1993, and died in 2006.

Loitering with Intent

Loitering with Intent

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/05/2001

Selected Stories: Muriel Spark

Selected Stories: Muriel Spark

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/04/2001

This year sees the launch of the Pocket Classics, a series of short works for pleasurable reading in a pocket-sized format. These books offer an intriguing and original mixture of new and varied reading experiences from a wide range of Scottish writing from different genres and all periods. Think of them as a reintroduction to the impact of the finest writing, whether non-fiction, poetry, short stories or novellas. These four stories, set at home and abroad, show Muriel Spark's characteristically witty and unbalancing powers. In 'The Executor' the niece of a famous author is pursued by an unfinished manuscript. 'Bang-bang You're Dead' mixes childhood games and white-settler affairs to paint a sinister and comic portrait of colonial life and murder by proxy in Africa. Also set in Africa, 'The Seraph and the Zambesi' tells of a Christmas pageant which has the strangest visitor, while 'Portobello Road' is a story haunted by childhood friendships and adult betrayals. Together they illustrate why Spark is regarded as one of the greatest living short story writers.

A Far Cry From Kensington

A Far Cry From Kensington

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/05/1989

Mrs Hawkins, a fat young war widow worked for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher in 1950s London. Looking back on shady literary doings and a deadly enemy, anonymous letters, blackmail and suicide, the thin and successful Mrs Hawkins recalls how she came through it all.

The Public Image

The Public Image

Author: Muriel Spark Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/10/1975

Annabel Christopher is a goddess to her adoring Italian public, her loving husband part of her perfect image. To keep the eager sycophants, ruthless paparazzi and anxious admirers under her spell the image must be carefully cultivated. Only Annabel hasn't calculated on the plans of her husband.

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