Where did Muriel Spark's difficult reputation come from? by Alan Taylor
This article has been published in The Telegraph. It begins:
What was it about Muriel Spark, without question one of the great writers of the 20th century, that led many to assume she was difficult and unapproachable? Was it that, as one critic put it, her novels were filled with “malice and mayhem”? Or was it her uncompromising stance when dealing with those involved in what, in The Girls of Slender Means, she mischievously and mockingly described as “the world of books”? Or was it her desire for privacy, which meant she lived most of her life in exile? Or was it, perhaps, her fractious relationship with her son, whom several of her obituaries suggested she had “abandoned”?