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Set Somewhere in Italy

MURIEL SPARK was born and educated in Edinburgh, and spent some years in Central Africa. She returned to Britain during the war and worked in the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office. She subsequently edited two poetry magazines, and her published works include critical biographies of nineteenth-century figures, and editions of nineteenth-century letters. Her Collected Poems I and Collected Stories I were published in 1967. Since she won an Observer short-story competition in 1951 her creative writings have achieved international recognition (they are published in twenty different languages). Among many other awards she has received the Italia Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She was awarded the O.B.E. in 1967. Mrs. Spark became a Roman Catholic in 1954. She has one son.

Muriel Spark

The Driver's Seat

Jacket Notes:  "I aim to startle as well as please," Muriel Spark once said, and in The Driver's Seat (1970), her aim is all too true. Her most unnerving novel, this is a hook to make the flesh creep. With fierce economy Spark focuses on her terrifying heroine Lise, who leaves her home in northern Europe for a southern holiday, apparently on the prowl for a lover: "If he's my type," she says, "I want to meet him." But of course appearances aren't everything.

Pity and fear attend Lise's final day. Superbly chilling, blithely evil, Lise takes the reader on a drive to Hell.
(© New Directions Books)