make the most of Lovereading
Search our site
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

This edition has not yet been published

If available, why not choose another format from the 'Other Formats' box on the right.

The Public Image by Muriel Spark

Lovereading view...

‘Annabel Christopher, an English actress of the 1960s, is described to us by everybody: her husband, their friends, neighbours, directors, film buffs, reporters and, repeatedly, by Spark herself, who circles ever closer to her prey… Spark doesn’t ignore the difficulties involved in getting us to care about this characterless movie star. While she exults in her vapidity, she also adroitly circumvents it by making Annabel real… To endear Annabel to us yet further, Spark gives her a traitorous quibbler of a husband who’s always correcting Annabel’s grammar… The question hovers over the novel: is Annabel stupid? Her husband thinks so, her directors hope so. Spark takes this opportunity to mock all of humanity for having the chutzpah to make any claims to intelligence, suggesting it’s probably way beyond our reach.’ From the Introduction by Lucy Ellmann

This is one novel in the absolutely glorious, must-have, complete collection of all 22 novels by Muriel Spark. This series is a wonderful way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark’s birth. Edited by Alan Taylor, author of Appointment In Arezzo, A Friendship with Muriel Spark, each perfectly sized and beautiful hardback book is introduced by a leading writer. Each introduction, while individually touching on thoughts and feelings, mentions the originality, the wit and humour, the cleverness of the writing. Whether an existing fan, or new to her works, this collection from one of our greatest writers, beckons, and quite simply, just asks to be read and re-read. ~

If you like Muriel Spark you might also like to read books by William Trevor, Shena Mackay and Iris Murdoch.


The Public Image by Muriel Spark

The Public Image was first published in 1968 and shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1969.

Actress Annabel Christopher's glamorous public image must be maintained at all costs for the paparazzi and her adoring fans. But all is not well beneath the carefully constructed facade of her marriage and husband Frederick is sick of it. He decides to take his revenge . . . A sharp look at celebrity culture that's even more relevant now than at the time of its first publication.

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.


Praise for Muriel Spark;

A profoundly serious comic writer whose wit advances, never undermines or diminishes, her ideas New York Times Book Review

A wholly original presence in modern literature -- Andrew Motion

She has a receptive and wholly distinctive genius -- A N Wilson Spectator

The care with which she uses words is matched by a gloriously carefree attitude. It's all part of her sanity, her breezy authorial self-confidence; and because of this I think that reading a blast of her prose every morning is a far more restorative way to start a day than a shot of espresso Daily Telegraph

I am dazzled by The Bachelors. It is the cleverest and most elegant of all Mrs Spark's clever and elegant books -- Evelyn Waugh

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

Spark is a natural, a paradigm of that rare sort of artist from whom work of the highest quality flows as elementally as current through a circuit New Yorker

About the Author

Muriel Spark

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

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

9th March 2018


Muriel Spark

More books by Muriel Spark
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...


Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General


160 pages


Literary Fiction
Muriel Spark 100

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Women's health



I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

Love Reading - it not only does what it says on the tin, it does it with Jam on!!

Maz Tucker

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson