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Muriel Spark (1918–2006)

Författare till Miss Jean Brodies bästa ar

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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 visa mer 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) visa färre

Verk av Muriel Spark

Miss Jean Brodies bästa ar (1961) 5,140 exemplar
Memento Mori (1959) 1,715 exemplar
The Girls of Slender Means (1963) 1,295 exemplar
A Far Cry from Kensington (1988) 1,236 exemplar
Förarsätet (1970) 956 exemplar
Loitering with Intent (1981) 822 exemplar
Aiding and Abetting (2000) 571 exemplar
The Finishing School (2004) 515 exemplar
Mandelbaumporten (1965) 501 exemplar
The Comforters (1957) 494 exemplar
Symposium (1990) 478 exemplar
The Abbess of Crewe (1974) 460 exemplar
The Bachelors (1960) 444 exemplar
Ansiktet utåt (1968) 306 exemplar
The Only Problem (1984) 284 exemplar
Not to Disturb (1971) 272 exemplar
Falska fasader (1979) 262 exemplar
Reality and Dreams (1996) 237 exemplar
Robinson (1958) 236 exemplar
I annan ägo (1976) 216 exemplar
Mary Shelley (1951) 214 exemplar
The Hothouse by the East River (1973) 197 exemplar
The Stories of Muriel Spark (1985) 123 exemplar
All the Stories of Muriel Spark (2001) 120 exemplar
The Complete Short Stories (2001) 112 exemplar
Muriel Spark Omnibus 1 (1993) 66 exemplar
Muriel Spark Omnibus 2 (1994) 60 exemplar
The Informed Air: Essays (1656) 39 exemplar
Voices at Play (1961) 36 exemplar
All the Poems of Muriel Spark (2004) 35 exemplar
The Essence of the Brontës (1846) 27 exemplar
The Very Fine Clock (1968) 20 exemplar
Doctors of Philosophy: A Play (1963) 19 exemplar
The Golden Fleece (2014) 18 exemplar
Muriel Spark Omnibus 1 & 2 (1995) 13 exemplar
Modern Short Stories 2: 1940-1980 (1982) — Bidragsgivare — 12 exemplar
John Masefield (1992) 10 exemplar
Complete Poems (2004) 10 exemplar
Muriel Spark Omnibus 4 (1997) 9 exemplar
Novelists' Theatre: Penguin Plays (1963) — Playwright, vissa utgåvor8 exemplar
The Brontë Letters (1966) — Redaktör — 8 exemplar
Collected Poems (1967) 7 exemplar
Spark's Satire (2016) 6 exemplar
Muriel Spark Omnibus 3 (1996) 6 exemplar
The Hanging Judge (1995) 5 exemplar
Spark's Europe (2016) 4 exemplar
The Seraph and the Zambesi (1960) 2 exemplar
Chimes (2014) 2 exemplar
Rose di Scozia (1997) 2 exemplar
The quest for lavishes ghast (1998) 1 exemplar
 Spark Muriel 1 exemplar
Madam X (1996) 1 exemplar
The Leaf-Sweeper 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Bidragsgivare — 423 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Modern Fantasy by Women (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 164 exemplar
The Pan Book of Horror Stories (1959) — Bidragsgivare — 152 exemplar
Murder & Other Acts of Literature (1997) — Bidragsgivare — 144 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Horror Stories (1984) — Bidragsgivare — 138 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories (1984) — Bidragsgivare — 122 exemplar
Mistresses of the Dark [Anthology] (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 118 exemplar
The Second Penguin Book of English Short Stories (1972) — Bidragsgivare, vissa utgåvor116 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Bidragsgivare — 115 exemplar
The Penguin Book of First World War Stories (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 103 exemplar
The Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 100 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Modern Women's Short Stories (1990) — Bidragsgivare — 99 exemplar
7th Annual Edition: The Year's Best S-F (1962) — Bidragsgivare — 90 exemplar
The Treasury of English Short Stories (1985) — Bidragsgivare — 81 exemplar
The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories (1991) — Bidragsgivare — 74 exemplar
The Mammoth Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 73 exemplar
The Ecco Book of Christmas Stories (2005) — Bidragsgivare — 72 exemplar
Women and Fiction: Volume 2 (1978) — Bidragsgivare — 72 exemplar
The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1996) — Bidragsgivare — 70 exemplar
The New Penguin Book of Scottish Short Stories (1983) — Bidragsgivare — 70 exemplar
The Penguin Book of Scottish Short Stories (1986) — Bidragsgivare — 66 exemplar
Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (1999) — Bidragsgivare — 64 exemplar
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie [1969 film] (1968) — Original book — 61 exemplar
Revenge: Short Stories by Women Writers (1986) — Bidragsgivare — 49 exemplar
Mystery for Christmas (1990) — Bidragsgivare — 49 exemplar
The Norton Book Of Ghost Stories (1994) — Bidragsgivare — 49 exemplar
An Omnibus of 20th Century Ghost Stories (1989) — Bidragsgivare — 45 exemplar
65 Great Murder Mysteries (1983) — Bidragsgivare — 41 exemplar
Haunting Women (1988) — Bidragsgivare — 35 exemplar
Great Tours and Detours: The Sophisticated Traveler Series (1985) — Bidragsgivare — 34 exemplar
Partisan Review: The 50th Anniversary Edition (1905) — Bidragsgivare — 33 exemplar
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Bidragsgivare — 32 exemplar
Realizations: Newman's Own Selection of His Sermons (1964) — Förord — 27 exemplar
Studies in Fiction (1965) — Bidragsgivare — 22 exemplar
Classic Detective Stories (1992) — Bidragsgivare — 21 exemplar
New Writing 13 (2005) — Bidragsgivare — 18 exemplar
Modern Women Poets (2005) — Bidragsgivare — 13 exemplar
Women Writing: An Anthology (1979) — Bidragsgivare — 11 exemplar
Cats: Fifteen Complete Stories and Poems (1998) — Bidragsgivare — 5 exemplar
Personal Choice (1977) — Bidragsgivare — 2 exemplar
Stories of Adolescence (1979) — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar
Modern Choice 2 — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



Group Read, October 2021: Memento Mori i 1001 Books to read before you die (oktober 2021)
BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE NOVEMBER - SPARK & BOYD i 75 Books Challenge for 2015 (december 2015)
Muriel Spark Reading Week (23-29 April) i Virago Modern Classics (maj 2012)


Oh my what fun! a stalwart heroine, nasty villains, intrigue, class structure, friendship and art all told with that extraordinary articulateness that gifted writers mastered in 20th century UK. Spark’s style and wonderful prose is related to that of Penelope Lively, and our heroine also, but the story and its twists are very different. Our narrator’s interesting and unique views on people and events is constantly amusing and intriguing. An example is horrible people. Fleur delights in them as their debilitations are simply wonderful for her to observe, they don’t bother her in the slightest and if anything she seeks them out. A wonderful read I couldn’t put down.… (mer)
diveteamzissou | 26 andra recensioner | Nov 28, 2023 |
The eponymous "Only Problem" is that of how a benevolent omnipotent God allows suffering in the world, as epitomised in the Book Of Job, which is the obsession of the central character, Harvey. There is some interesting discussion of The Problem, but the story is more about Harvey's more modern-day (and somewhat self-inflicted) sufferings. These are almost insignificant by most definitions of suffering, which gives the book a satiric edge, although the humour is bone dry.

Spark doesn't tend to describe transitions - rather she narrates vignettes from different points in the plot. (I also noticed this in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie). It's an interesting and distinctive approach, and one that perhaps mirrors life.

An enjoyable and idiosyncratic book, though a little unsatisfying.
… (mer)
thisisstephenbetts | 5 andra recensioner | Nov 25, 2023 |
This was an instant reread for me, for pleasure and necessity. The complete disregard to time and order threw me the first time around and it was only upon the reread that I could fully appreciate Spark 's deftness. She doesn't care about catering to her readers. If you're going to read her, the onus is on you. She doesn't have time to spell out everything for you but all the details are there as long as you take care to pick them out. The reader is dropped in to the middle of the story, the middle of a conversation, and must be willing to just be carried away by the current and grab onto any passing clues for an easier and more pleasurable journey. The most important thing I learnt from this book is to trust the (Spark) process.… (mer)
kitzyl | 8 andra recensioner | Nov 6, 2023 |
I thought (until moments ago) that this was Spark's first novel because it has all the Sparkian elements that, unfortunately, aren't as finely tuned in this work as they are in many of her other novels. A preoccupation with religious identity set against the backdrop of a very specific time and place? Most definitely. A variety of eccentric characters? Yes, but several seem to betray their own characters in contrived ways. (Spark gives us a latently lesbian headmistress who somewhat unaccountably ends up hopping into bed with a pro-Nasser Muslim communist. The possibly latently homosexual, staid British F.O. dogsbody ends hopping into bed with the rogue-ish, girlish tour guide. The protagonist who goes through a lot of trouble to fulfill her Catholic pilgrimage to the Holy Lands decides 3/4 of the way through that she'll abandon the Church if need be to marry the man she loves. The young Muslim-turned Catholic-turned I forget what is in love with his sister but...well, you get the idea...) Brevity of style? No, this one drags by Sparkian standards. Incisiveness? Yes, but again, it's still blunted by Sparkian standards. Flashbacks *and* flashforwards? Yes, but not nearly as deftly done as in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

In short, this isn't one of Spark's standouts, but Spark at her worst outshines many at their best. It's unfortunate that the books' thoughtful ruminations on the protagonist's divided religious identity amongst the unease of a divided city devolves into farce. The last half of the book turns into an espionage thriller that is less John le Carre and more Benny Hill, which isn't an entirely terrible thing.

Recommended for Spark completists.
… (mer)
mambo_taxi | 12 andra recensioner | Nov 4, 2023 |


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Associerade författare

Angus Wilson Contributor, Playwright
Nigel Dennis Playwright
R. K. Narayan Contributor
Sean O'Faolain Contributor
Jean Rhys Contributor
William Sansom Contributor
Frank Sargeson Contributor
J. G. Ballard Contributor
Alan Sillitoe Contributor
Doris Lessing Contributor
Elizabeth Taylor Contributor
Fred Urquhart Contributor
Patrick White Contributor
Samuel Beckett Contributor
John McGahern Contributor
William Trevor Contributor
Mary Lavin Contributor
Elspeth Davie Contributor
Elizabeth Bowen Contributor
Geoffrey Bush Contributor
Morlay Callaghan Contributor
Edmund Crispin Contributor
Roald Dahl Contributor
Rhys Davies Contributor
Nadine Gordimer Contributor
Graham Greene Contributor
L. P. Hartley Contributor
R. Prawer Jhabvala Contributor
Francis King Contributor
Eric Rhode Introduction
Penelope Jardine Introduction
Alan Taylor Foreword, Introduction
Van Pariser Cover photograph, Cover artist
Léo Dilé Translator
Peter Naujack Translator
Nadia May Narrator
Ali Smith Introduction
Katja Vranken Translator
A. L. Kennedy Introduction
Magdeleine Paz Translator
袁凤珠 Translator
Geni Hirata Translator
Ida Omboni Translator
Hal Hager Afterword
Augusto Gubler Translator
Candia McWilliam Introduction
Silvia Barbero Translator
Beryl Cook Illustrator
Merete Alfsen Translator
W.A.C. Whitlau Translator
Gary Blythe Cover artist
R. M. Powers Cover designer
William Boyd Introduction
Otto Bayer Translator
Zoë Strachan Introduction
Anjo Mutsaars Cover designer
Tomi Ungerer Cover designer
V. S. Pritchett Introduction
Ian Rankin Introduction
Rosemary Goring Introduction
Robert Croxford Cover photograph
Moshe Singer Translator
Teresa Monachino Cover designer
Wanda Ramos Translator
Flo Gibson Narrator
Anna Allisio Translator
Lucienne Day Cover artist
Eleanor Bron Narrator
Maribel de Juan Translator
John Lanchester Introduction
Judi Dench Narrator
Andrew O'Hagan Introduction
Mark Lawson Introduction
Carlos Milla Translator
Joseph Kanon Introduction
Alain Delahaye Translator
Ronald Frame Introduction
Louise Welsh Introduction
Davina Porter Narrator
Jackie Kay Introduction
Claude Demanuelli Introduction
Nadia May Narrator
Bob Croxford Cover photograph
Gabriel Josipovici Introduction
Monica Pareschi Translator
Allan Massie Introduction
Victor Reinganum Cover designer
Terence Greer Cover artist
James Campbell Introduction
Lucy Ellmann Introduction
Martin Haake Cover artist
Richard Holloway Introduction
Edward Gorey Illustrator, Cover artist
Dan Gunn Introduction
Kapka Kassabova Introduction
Kirsty Gunn Introduction
Candida McWilliam Introduction
Brian Morton Introduction
Michael Schmidt Introduction
Emilia Fox Narrator
Ian Stuart Cover designer
Keith Cunningham Cover designer


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