Was it really only the beginning of February when I first suggested a reading week for Muriel Spark, and a week later when Harriet had agreed to be co-host, and Thomas had designed us this wonderful badge?
It feels much longer ago. Well, I was thrilled and delighted when (not including my own comments) those posts got over sixty replies between them. That's a lot of potential posts this week! My hope is that we'll manage to read all Muriel Spark's twenty-two novels between us - not to mention her short stories, autobiography, plays, poetry, and biographies. I've included a list of all her novels at the end of this post.
Open Road have kindly offered a free Muriel Spark ebook (review copy via NetGalley) to one lucky person - provided that person has an e-reader, and is in the US or EU (excluding UK). If that's you, then pop a comment in the comment box, saying you'd like it, and I'll randomly select a winner at the end of the week. The options are The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie or The Hothouse by the East River - I'd argue they're her most and least well-known novels.
Since Harriet and I are co-hosting, we'll be alternating posts this week. So I'll be posting on Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday, and Harriet will be posting on Wednesday and Friday and Sunday. As luck would have it, I'll actually be away for a bit this week, and thus some of my posts are pre-scheduled to appear. So I might be playing catch-up - but will do my best to read every Muriel Spark post that appears!
How did you meet Muriel Spark?
Let's throw this open to discussion in the comments here. How did you first encounter Muriel Spark? Perhaps this is your first time reading her, but if not, I'd love to know how you first came to try out one of her novels, and how things progressed from there?
Oddly I'd always believed that I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie first, but consulting my reading diary it turns out that I first read The Girls of Slender Means. I did, however, read both in 2005. Neither made much of an impression on me - I probably read them too fast, for a start - and I didn't return to Spark again until five years later. A few bloggers had raved about The Driver's Seat - and I thought it brilliant. Suddenly, I was hooked. I haven't looked back since.
Over to YOU!
Have fun this week! Do, please, let me or Harriet know when you've written about Muriel Spark this week. I don't have Google Reader or anything, so although I'll be keeping an eye out, I won't have any way of having a complete list otherwise.
We'll put together links to everything you've been saying, at the end of the week - and fingers crossed we'll be able to put a link to every single one of the books below. Whether this is your first experience with Spark, or whether you're rather more qualified than me to express your love of Dame Muriel, I hope you have a great time - and can't wait to hear more from you!
The Comforters (1957)
Memento Mori (1959)
The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960)
The Bachelors (1960)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)
The Girls of Slender Means (1963)
The Mandelbaum Gate (1965)
The Public Image (1968)
The Driver's Seat (1970)
Not to Disturb (1971)
The Hothouse by the East River (1973)
The Abbess of Crewe (1974)
The Takeover (1976)
Territorial Rights (1979)
Loitering with Intent (1981)
The Only Problem (1984)
A Far Cry From Kensington (1988)
Reality and Dreams (1996)
Aiding and Abetting (2000)
The Finishing School (2004)