"You girls are my vocation... I am dedicated to you in my prime." So says Miss Jean Brodie, a teacher unlike any other. She is proud and cultured. A romantic, with progressive, sometimes shocking ideas and aspirations for the girls in her charge. When she decides to transform a select group of pupils into the 'crème de la crème' at the Marcia Blaine School they become the Brodie set. In exchange for their undivided loyalty the girls earn a special place of honour and privilege within the school. Yet they are also introduced to a startling new world of adult games....
Muriel Spark's blackly comic masterwork begins with a voice on the telephone warning, "Remember, you must die." The recipient of the grim message is elderly Dame Lettie Colston, but soon 10 of Lettie's oldest friends also become targets of Death's anonymous herald. A bizarre investigation lays bare an intricate network of deception and disloyalty that binds together the vulnerable group of aging eccentrics.
Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher (“of very good books”) and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming house. At work and at home Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide.
"Truth Teller In The Midst Of Posers & The Clueless"
"Long ago in 1945 all the nice people in England were poor, allowing for exceptions." Thus begins Muriel Spark's tragic and rapier-witted portrait of a London ladies' hostel just emerging from the shadow of World War II. Like the May of Teck Club building itself - "three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit" - its lady inhabitants do their best to act as if the world were back to normal, practicing elocution and jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown.
"Funny, moving, brilliant"
In the classic work that launched a play, a movie, and a song, Muriel Spark tells the darkly intriguing story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher and the intense relationship she develops with six of her students. The scandalously outspoken Miss Brodie makes big waves in the conservative Scottish school, preaching the value of art, passion, and daring.
"creme de la creme"
"How wonderful to be an artist and a woman in the twentieth century," Fleur Talbot rejoices. Loitering about London in 1949, with intent to gather material for her writing, Fleur finds a job "on the grubby edge of the literary world", as secretary to the odd Autobiographical Association. Are they a group of mad egomaniacs, hilariously writing their memoirs in advance, or poor fools ensnared by a blackmailer? Rich material, in any case.
"As Good As Pym--Maybe Better!"
The Mandelbaum Gate divides the conflict-torn realm of Jerusalem, separating Israel from Jordan. Barbara Vaughn, a stubborn young English woman and half-Jewish Catholic convert, insists upon crossing the divide in order to rendezvous with her fiancé, in spite of the very real danger. Her quest sets off a series of bizarre situations and adventures, set against the backdrop of the Eichmann trial of 1961.
The Complete Short Stories is a collection to be loved and cherished, from one of the finest short-story writers of the twentieth century. From the cruel irony of A member of the Family to the fateful echoes of The Go-Away Bird and the unexpectedly sinister The Girl I Left Behind Me, in settings that range from South Africa to the Portobello Road, Muriel Spark coolly probes the idiosyncrasies that lurk beneath the veneer of human respectability, displaying the acerbic wit and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her unique talent.
"A must for Muriel Spark fans!"
First found contentedly chatting in their London clubs and shopping at Fortnum's, the cozy bachelors are not set to stay cozy for long. Soon enough, the men are variously tormented - defrauded, stolen from, blackmailed, or pressed to attend horrid séances - and then plunged, all together, into the nastiest of lawsuits. At the center of that suit hovers pale, blank Patrick Seton, the medium.
"philosophical black comedy"
This wonderful collection, ideal for cat lovers and feline fanatics, brings together the best and worst of catty behaviour. Ranging from the very funny to the profound, this collection has something to please everyone - without running the risk of developing an allergy!
When the firm of Meadows, Meade & Grindley hires Dougal Douglas (a.k.a. Douglas Dougal) to do "human research" into the private lives of its workforce, they are in no way prepared for the mayhem, mutiny, and murder he will stir up. In fact, this Music Man of the thoroughly modern corporation changes the lives of all the eccentric characters he meets, from Miss Merle Coverdale, head of the typing pool, to V.R. Druce, unsuspecting Managing Director.
Lise is thin, neither good-looking nor bad-looking. One day she walks out of her office, acquires a gaudy new outfit, adopts a girlier tone of voice and heads to the airport to fly south. On the plane she takes a seat between two men. One is delighted with her company, the other is deeply perturbed. So begins an unnerving journey into the darker recesses of human nature.
"Masterfully written and read"
College Sunrise is a vaguely disreputable finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. Rowland Mahler and his wife, Nina, run the school as a way to support themselves while he works, somewhat falteringly, on his novel. Into his creative writing class comes 17-year-old Chris Wiley, a literary prodigy whose historical novel-in-progress, on Mary Queen of Scots and the murder of her husband Lord Darnley, has already excited the interest of publishers.
"Short but Sweet"
The Girls of Slender Means is the third Muriel Spark audio release of 2012, following The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and The Complete Short Stories. It is 1945; a time of cultural and political change, and also one of slender means. Spark's evocative and sharply drawn novel focuses on a group of women living together in a hostel in Kensington who face new challenges in uncertain times. The novel is at once dramatic and character-based, and shows Muriel Spark at the height of her literary powers.
Award-winning author Dame Muriel Spark is internationally renowned for her witty and engaging tales of life. Short and sophisticated, Reality and Dreams follows the career of self-centered, middle-aged film director Tom Richards. As he turns colorful incidents from his life into glittery, cinematic fiction, his foreboding dreams become all too real. Tom is passionately directing his latest film when he falls from a crane on the set. Awaking in a semi-conscious fog in a hospital room, he suddenly must deal with a comic, surreal procession of doctors, nurses, and out-of-work relatives.
"Remember you must die" says the telephone caller.This the voice, and message communicated in a series of anonymous calls made to many elderly people. Including; Dame Lettie, a blue-blooded reformer, Godfrey - her rather irritating brother, and his once fabulous novelist wife Charmian. But who is the caller? And why are they reminding them of this final truth? It's unsettling and mysterious. The activity increases and soon a witch-hunt is in full force, with nobody beyond suspicion.
First published in 1988 and described by Ali Smith as 'one of Muriel Spark's most liberating, and meditative novels' - A Far Cry from Kensington shows Muriel Spark at the mature height of her powers.The narrator is one Mrs. Hawkins. She writes from Italy, a far cry from Kensington indeed, taking us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. As a young, rather fat war-widow she spent her days working for a crazy, almost bankrupt publisher; and her nights offering advice from her boarding-house in South Kensington.
Ten stylish Londoners assemble for a smart dinner party - a knot of people with pasts and connections that at first seem few but are later found to be many. As the wine flows and conversation continues, the guests anticipate the arrival of the distinguished Hilda Damien, a rich widow, who is expected to look in after dinner. But Hilda is inexplicably absent for a very grim reason.