CURRICULUM VITAE by Muriel Spark

CURRICULUM VITAE

Autobiography
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Spark's autobiography takes her from her Edinburgh childhood in the 20's to just after the publication of her first novel, The Comforters, in the 50's. Along the way come her half-Jewish family; school (and a portrait of Spark's beloved teacher, Miss Kay--the model for Miss Jean Brodie); a disastrous early marriage culminating in a prewar move to Rhodesia with her increasingly unbalanced husband; the birth of her son; divorce; wartime life in London doing work on the literary outskirts (e.g., directing the Poetry Society--an experience for which she took enormous factional grief but that she would later use in Loitering with Intent); and first writings and publications of her own. This memoir, Sparks says, is primarily to correct other critical versions of her life- -mainly Derrick Stanford's Muriel Spark--and there is to it, therefore, a bristling edge. But it rarely seems defensive--eelish, maybe, but not defensive: Spark's relationship to her son (raised mostly by her parents in Edinburgh) and to the Catholic faith she converted to are dispatched with an air of hardly-any-of-your-business. Cagey though it is, Spark's book will please her admirers all the same. Describing the Border ballads' ``steel and bite...so remorseful and yet so lyrical'' is to give a remarkable capsule of her own special fictional art--and the seriousness, comedy, and relatively depersonalized intimacy expressed here are completely congruent with the best of her work. (Twelve-page b&w photo insert)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-395-65372-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993




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