Though first published only 20 years ago, Spark's offbeat fiction certainly deserves a place in the publisher's line of contemporary classics. Kirkus (March 15, 1981, p. 384) noticed that Spark was turning "her raised-eyebrow stare in on herself," or at least on a writer much like herself. When her aspiring-writer protagonist starts pilfering from the stodgy memoirs she's ghosting for some dull aristos, all sorts of complications ensue. Spark confronts the big questions of art: "Life vs. Fiction, Invention vs. Truth, Creativity vs. Paranoia." Kirkus identified those "moments that are pure, tart Spark," and compared the novel to the work of Thomas Berger and Italo Calvino. In this "grand, elusive little entertainment," we spotted "eccentric comedy on the surface and serious literary matters scurrying around below."