The Public Image

Overview

"All homage to Muriel Spark, the coolest writer ever to scald your liver and your lights" (The Washington Post). The Public Image, which the author has called "an ethical shocker," provides a scalding the reader is unlikely to forget, particularly as it is so enjoyable.

Spark chooses Rome, "the motherland of sensation," for the setting of her story about movie star Annabel Christopher (known to her adoring fans as "The English Lady-Tiger"), who has made the fatal mistake of ...

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The Public Image

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Overview

"All homage to Muriel Spark, the coolest writer ever to scald your liver and your lights" (The Washington Post). The Public Image, which the author has called "an ethical shocker," provides a scalding the reader is unlikely to forget, particularly as it is so enjoyable.

Spark chooses Rome, "the motherland of sensation," for the setting of her story about movie star Annabel Christopher (known to her adoring fans as "The English Lady-Tiger"), who has made the fatal mistake of believing in her public image. This error and her embittered husband, and unsuccessful actor, catch up with her. Her final act is only the first shocking climax—further surprises await. Neatly savaging our celebrity culture, Spark rejoices in one of her favorite subjects—the clash between sham and genuine identity—and provides Annabel with an unexpected triumph.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A movie star in Rome loses touch with reality in Spark's witty expose of superficiality, first published in 1968. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811212465
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Series: Revived Modern Classic Series , #767
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 992,211
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (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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