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Next Up: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

So now that Naked Lunch is gone with all its Nakedness, I’m excited to move on to the next novel.

Enter The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

What do I know about this novel? Nothing.

What do I now about this novel’s author, Muriel Spark? Nothing.

Except I did research a few facts for all of us:

  • The novel was originally published in The New Yorker before it was published as a stand-alone book by Macmillan in 1961.
  • In addition to being featured on Time’s list, the novel was listed #76 on the Modern Library’s list of 100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century.
  • The story centers on four young girls who become favorites of a teacher named Miss Brodie. Adventures ensue.
  • Spark uses a literary technique called prolepsis (flash forwards) frequently throughout the novel. Lost, anyone?
  • The novel is part autobiographical, with the Miss Brodie character being based on one of Spark’s teachers when she was a kid.
  • A film version of the novel was produced in 1969 and starred none other than Maggie Smith (Any Downton Abbey fans?) who won an Academy Award for best actress.
  • Spark won countless awards and honors, included the 1965 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the T.S. Eliot Award in 1992.
  • She passed away in 2006 at the age of 88.

More good news about this novel: It’s short. Only 160 pages.

So onward I go. This is book #80, friends! The homestretch is here!

Anyone read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, or anything else from Muriel Spark?

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.


    April 2, 2015
  2. Muriel Spark is SO GOOD. I might have to read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with you.


    April 2, 2015
  3. YES I’ve just read this as part of my university course. It’s amazing. There are so many layers to the text and, without giving too much away, it’s an incredible study of the subtleties of manipulation and the politics of the time.


    April 2, 2015
  4. I was reading her wikipedia bio. Seems she had much in common with her fellow British novelist, Graham Greene. She worked in intelligence. And she was a convert to Catholicism, which her fellow contemporary Penelope Fitzgerald says that made her the novelist she became.


    April 2, 2015
  5. After you finish the book, treat yourself to the film. Maggie Smith is magic.

    Liked by 2 people

    April 2, 2015
  6. 160 pages? You must have huge print! I don’t have my copy to hand, but the edition from my school days had 124 pages. I more or less knew it by heart, as my school was very like Marcia Blake, and my English teacher had Brodiesque qualities. Once you’ve read it I’ll post a link to my GPS walking route of Literary Edinburgh. Lots of photos of the novel’s setting. It’s a terrific novel. A perfect palate cleanser after your recent ordeal.


    April 2, 2015
  7. Reblogged this on Fonte da arte.


    April 2, 2015
  8. A great story!


    April 3, 2015
  9. That should have been Marcia *Blaine*. Blast predictive text!


    April 4, 2015

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