Curriculum Vitae: A Volume of Autobiography

Overview

Muriel Spark’s bracingly salty memoir is a no-holds-barred trip through an extraordinary writer’s life.

It is no surprise that one of Muriel Spark’s most lively and entertaining works would be her own memoir, Curriculum Vitae. Born to a Scottish Jewish father and an English Presbyterian mother, Spark describes her childhood in 1930s
Edinburgh in brief, dazzling anecdotes. In ...

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Curriculum Vitae: A Volume of Autobiography

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Overview

Muriel Spark’s bracingly salty memoir is a no-holds-barred trip through an extraordinary writer’s life.

It is no surprise that one of Muriel Spark’s most lively and entertaining works would be her own memoir, Curriculum Vitae. Born to a Scottish Jewish father and an English Presbyterian mother, Spark describes her childhood in 1930s
Edinburgh in brief, dazzling anecdotes. In one she recalls a cherished schoolteacher,
Christina Kay, who would later be used as the prototype for Miss
Jean Brodie. Spark boldly details her disastrous first marriage to Sydney
Oswald Spark (S.O.S.) — himself thirty-two, she just nineteen — whom she followed to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and left behind to return to England. In the midst of WWII, Spark took a bizarre position working in the disinformation campaign of the British Secret Service, eliciting information from German
POWs to combat Nazi propaganda. She later moved to the Poetry Society of
London, where she mingled with literati and other intellectuals, befriended by some (such as Graham Greene, an early supporter of her work) and sparring with others. We experience Spark’s joy with the publication of her first novel, The Comforters, her trials with other writers’ envy, and her emergence as the most brilliant femme fatale of 20th-century English literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Nick Hornby - The Believer
“What a writer Spark is — odd, funny, aphoristic, wise, and technically brilliant.”
The New York Times
“Tantalizing.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811219235
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 5/18/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 989,826
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The writer of “some of the best sentences in English” (The New Yorker), Muriel Spark (1918–2006) was the author of dozens of novels including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Memento Mori, and The Driver’s Seat. She became Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1993.

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