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Next Up: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

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?

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