Spark, Dame Muriel

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Spark, Dame Muriel,

1918–2006, Scottish novelist, b. Muriel Sarah Camberg. She lived in Edinburgh, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), London, New York, and Rome, and spent her last years in Tuscany. Spark's typically short, spare, and witty novels expose the pretensions, hypocrisies, and petty foibles of her characters with merciless satire and cool detachment. Her Roman Catholicism (she converted in 1954) informs her acute moral vision and underlies her interest in revealing the dark, terrifying, evil, and unexplainable side of banal human experience. Spark's 22 novels include The Comforters (1957), Memento Mori (1958), The Bachelors (1960), The Girls of Slender Means (1963), The Mandelbaum Gate (1965), The Driver's Seat (1970), The Abbess of Crewe (1974), The Takeover (1976), Loitering with Intent (1981), A Far Cry from Kensington (1988), Reality and Dreams (1997), Aiding and Abetting (2001), and The Finishing School (2004). Her short novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) became an acclaimed stage, film, and television production; its success made Spark famous and wealthy. Her poems and short stories are compiled in Collected Poems I (1967), Collected Stories I (1968), and Open to the Public: New and Collected Stories (1997, rev. ed. 2001). Many of her essays, written 1950–2003, were collected in The Informed Air (2014). She also wrote critical studies of Mary ShelleyShelley, Mary Wollstonecraft,
1797–1851, English author; daughter of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. In 1814 she fell in love with the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, accompanied him abroad, and after the death of his first wife in 1816 was married to him.
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 (1951) and John MasefieldMasefield, John
, 1878–1967, English poet. He went to sea as a youth and later spent several years in the United States. In 1897 he returned to England and was on the staff of the Manchester Guardian.
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 (1953) and a biography of Emily BrontëBrontë
, family of English novelists, including Charlotte Brontë, 1816–55, English novelist, Emily Jane Brontë, 1818–48, English novelist and poet, and Anne Brontë, 1820–49, English novelist.
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 (1953). She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993.


See her autobiography, Curriculum Vitae (1993); critical biography by B. Cheyette (2001), biography by M. Stannard (2010); studies by D. Stanford (1963), K. Malkoff (1968), P. Stubbs, ed. (1973), R. Whittaker (1982), A. Bold, ed. (1986), D. Walker (1988), R. S. Edgecombe (1990), N. Page (1990), J. L. Randisi (1991), J. Hynes, ed. (1992), J. Sproxton (1992), M. Pearlman (1996), F. E. Apostolou (2001), M. McQuillan, ed. (2001), and M. Herman (2010).

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If Martin Stannard missed Muriel Spark, it was because he refused to look clearly at what he found.
Muriel Spark murio en 2006 antes de completar su vigesimo cuarta novela, en un hospital de Florencia, no muy lejos del pueblo soleado de la Toscana donde vivio, como corresponde a una dama de las letras britanicas, durante sus ultimos treinta anos.
Colonial Strangers seeks, in the first instance, to inscribe Godden, along with Olivia Manning, Muriel Spark, Ethel Mannin, Elspeth Huxley, Phyllis Bottome, and Phyllis Shand Allfrey, into the literary history of empire.
7 MURIEL SPARK My favorite writers are all women: Loos, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Ross, Patti Smith, Edith Sitwell, Louise Brooks, Queen Elizabeth I, Jacqueline Susann--and my fellow Scot, Muriel Spark.
Nixon returns in this issue offering a special connection of Hopkins to an important twentieth-century Catholic author, Muriel Spark.
In particular, the failure of Muriel Spark and Iris Murdoch to embrace the agenda of women's liberation must have caused their being overlooked by most leading feminist literary critics (374, 432n3).
DAME MURIEL SPARK, born in 1938 in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been a professional writer since the 1940s.
As a result he is constantly rushing forward, heavily laden in his bag-carrying from the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century, to reach a more modern fictional terrain stretching from Muriel Spark to Irvine Welsh.
In that respect, Woolf prefigured such self-reflexive, postmodernist writers as Muriel Spark and John Fowles, who want readers to participate in creating their fictions so that they can avoid the manipulative falsity of behaving like a God in a world that no longer genuinely believes in God.
Since Dame Muriel spark published her first novel, The Comforters, in 1957 (after which, I remember reading, Graham Greene sent her the money necessary to write her second), she has written nineteen novels, including A Far Cry From Kensington, Loitering With Intent and - the best known - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
In her recent autobiography, Curriculum Vitae (1993), Muriel Spark confirms that the theological writings of Cardinal Newman played an important role in her conversion to Catholicism.
Furthermore, little attention is paid to the variety of women's writing that appeared in the post-war years, other than treatments of near-canonical and well-established authors like Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark.