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Life and WorkWriters, Readers, and the Conversations between Them$
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Tim Parks

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215366

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215366.001.0001

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Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark

(p.138) Muriel Spark
Life and Work

Tim Parks

Yale University Press

This chapter shows that Muriel Spark's novels are full of ingenious frauds and manipulators on the one hand, and ingenuous victims ever ready to succumb to them on the other. Spark converted to Catholicism in 1954 and published her first novel, The Comforters, to critical acclaim three years later. Spark always insisted that the publication could not have occurred without the conversion. This chapter also examines Spark's other works, in which the question of control and loss of control, or more simply winning and losing, is always at the fore, including The Bachelors, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, The Driver's Seat, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and The Only Problem. Also discussed are Spark's autobiography Curriculum Vitae and the collection of essays The Informed Air.

Keywords:   novels, Muriel Spark, frauds, manipulators, The Comforters, control, winning, losing, The Bachelors, The Informed Air

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