In the April 5 issue of The New Yorker, Thomas Mallon reviews Martin Stannard's biography of writer Muriel Spark. The book, Muriel Spark: The Biography, first appeared in England last July and received high marks from critics. Spark is one of the most important British writers of the post-World War II period. A poet, essayist, and novelist, she died in 2006 at the age of 88. Muriel Spark wrote The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and over 20 other novels.
Spark's novel A Far Cry from Kensington, written in 1988, has been described as her most autobiographical. It's an interesting book, with an unusual, almost old-fashioned, atmosphere. If you've missed The New Yorker piece on the Spark biography, check out this review of Stannard's book from The Observer. And try reading A Far Cry from Kensington after you've become familiar with Spark's life; knowing those details make the book even more enjoyable.