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Muriel Spark has been called "our most chillingly comic writer since Evelyn Waugh" by the London Spectator, and the New Yorker praised her novel Memento Mori ri (1959) as "flawless." Her fiction is marked by its remarkable diversity, wit, and craftsmanship. "She happens to be, by some rare concatenation of grace and talent, an artist, a serious---and most accomplished---writer, a moralist engaged with the human predicament, wildly entertaining, and a joy to read" (SRSR). She became widely known in the United States when the New Yorker devoted almost an entire issue to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961). Set in Edinburgh in the 1930s, this is the story of a schoolteacher, her unorthodox approach to life, and its effect on her select group of adolescent girls. Though their idol turns out to have feet of clay, she leaves an indelible mark on their lives. The Girls of Slender Means (1963), also warmly praised, is a sardonic look at the vivacity of youth and the anxieties of young womanhood. Reviewing The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) for the New Republic, Honor Tracy wrote: "There is an abundance here of invention, humor, poetry, wit, perception, that all but takes the breath away. . . . The story, in fact, is pure adventure, with the suspense as artfully maintained as anywhere by Graham Greene, but this is only one ingredient. There are memorable descriptions of the Holy Land, fascinating insights into the jumble of intrigue and piety surrounding the Holy Places, and penetrating studies of Arabs. . . . In each of [Spark's] novels heretofore one of her qualities has tended to predominate over the others. Here for the first time they are all impressively marshaled side by side, resulting in her best work so far." The daughter of an Englishwoman and a Scottish-Jewish father, Spark was born and educated in Edinburgh. After her marriage in 1938, she lived for some years in Central Africa, a period rarely reflected in her work. During World War II, she returned to Britain, where she worked in the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office after the breakup of her marriage. She has been a magazine editor and written poetry and literary criticism. Spark has lived in London's Camberwell section, the setting of The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960), but now makes her home in New York. Her novels reflect her conversion to Roman Catholicism. (Bowker Author Biography) Writer Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh on February 1, 1918. In 1934-1935 she took a course in commercial correspondence and précis writing at Heriot-Watt College. After her marriage in 1937, she lived for some years in Central Africa. During World War II, she returned to Britain, where she worked in the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office after the breakup of her marriage. After the war, she began her literary career. She became General Secretary of the Poetry Society, worked as an editor and wrote studies of Mary Shelley, John Masefield and the Brontë sisters. Her first book of poetry, The Fanfarlo and Other Verse, was published in 1952 and her first novel, The Comforters, was published in 1957. She wrote over twenty books including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Finishing School. She won numerous awards and honors including the 1965 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Mandelbaum Gate, the 1992 U. S. Ingersoll Foundation T. S. Eliot Award, the 1997 David Cohen British Literature Prize for Lifetime Achievement, and in 1993 she became Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her services to literature. The Scottish Arts Council created the Muriel Spark International Fellowship in 2004. She died on April 13, 2006. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie… (more)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 5,061 copies, 166 reviews
Memento Mori 1,693 copies, 64 reviews
The Girls of Slender Means 1,281 copies, 56 reviews
A Far Cry from Kensington 1,233 copies, 55 reviews
The Driver's Seat 943 copies, 49 reviews
Loitering with Intent 818 copies, 26 reviews
The Ballad of Peckham Rye 718 copies, 21 reviews
Aiding and Abetting 570 copies, 24 reviews
The Finishing School 515 copies, 25 reviews
The Mandelbaum Gate 497 copies, 12 reviews
The Comforters 492 copies, 23 reviews
Symposium 470 copies, 15 reviews
The Abbess of Crewe 457 copies, 15 reviews
The Bachelors 441 copies, 15 reviews
The Public Image 304 copies, 8 reviews
The Only Problem 279 copies, 5 reviews
Not to Disturb 271 copies, 8 reviews
Territorial Rights 262 copies, 4 reviews
Robinson 234 copies, 12 reviews
Reality and Dreams 232 copies, 10 reviews
Mary Shelley 214 copies, 4 reviews
The Takeover 211 copies, 10 reviews
The Hothouse by the East River 196 copies, 9 reviews
The Stories of Muriel Spark 122 copies, 1 review
All the Stories of Muriel Spark 120 copies, 1 review
The Complete Short Stories 111 copies, 3 reviews
Muriel Spark Omnibus 1 64 copies, 2 reviews
Muriel Spark Omnibus 2 58 copies, 1 review
The Informed Air: Essays 37 copies, 2 reviews
Voices at Play 36 copies
All the Poems of Muriel Spark 32 copies, 3 reviews
The Very Fine Clock 20 copies, 2 reviews
Doctors of Philosophy: A Play 18 copies, 2 reviews
Modern Short Stories 2: 1940-1980 (Contributor) 12 copies
John Masefield 10 copies
Complete Poems 10 copies
Muriel Spark Omnibus 4 9 copies, 1 review
Novelists' Theatre: Penguin Plays (Playwright, some editions) 8 copies
The Brontë Letters (Editor) 8 copies
Muriel Spark Omnibus 3 6 copies, 1 review
Spark's Satire 6 copies, 1 review
Spark's Europe 4 copies, 1 review
Chimes 1 copy
Madam X 1 copy
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (Contributor) 420 copies, 2 reviews
Christmas Stories 241 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women (Contributor) 162 copies, 3 reviews
The Pan Book of Horror Stories (Contributor) 151 copies, 2 reviews
Murder & Other Acts of Literature (Contributor) 144 copies, 2 reviews
The Penguin Book of Horror Stories (Contributor) 139 copies, 2 reviews
The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories (Contributor) 122 copies, 1 review
Mistresses of the Dark [Anthology] (Contributor) 118 copies, 3 reviews
The Second Penguin Book of English Short Stories (Contributor, some editions) 115 copies
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (Contributor) 114 copies
Women and Fiction: Volume 2 (Contributor) 72 copies
The Ecco Book of Christmas Stories (Contributor) 71 copies, 2 reviews
The New Penguin Book of Scottish Short Stories (Contributor) 69 copies, 1 review
Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (Contributor) 64 copies, 2 reviews
Mystery for Christmas (Contributor) 49 copies
The Norton Book Of Ghost Stories (Contributor) 49 copies, 1 review
65 Great Murder Mysteries (Contributor) 41 copies
Haunting Women (Contributor) 35 copies
Partisan Review: The 50th Anniversary Edition (Contributor) 33 copies, 1 review
Studies in Fiction (Contributor) 22 copies, 1 review
Classic Detective Stories (Contributor) 21 copies, 3 reviews
New Writing 13 (Contributor) 18 copies
Modern Women Poets (Contributor) 13 copies
Women Writing: An Anthology (Contributor) 11 copies
Personal Choice (Contributor) 3 copies
Stories of Adolescence (Contributor) 1 copy
Modern Choice 2 (Contributor) 1 copy

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