Edited by Robert E. Hosmer Jr.
Described by David Lodge as “the most gifted and innovative writer of her generation,” Muriel Spark had a literary career that spanned from the late 1940s until her death in 2006, and included poems, stories, plays, essays, and, most notably, novels. The extensive bibliography of her works included in this collection reveals the astonishing output of a powerful and sustained creative spirit.
Hidden Possibilities gathers a distinguished group of writers from both sides of the Atlantic to offer an informed overview of Muriel Spark’s life and work. Critics have often read Spark in a somewhat narrow context—as a Catholic, a woman, or a Scottish writer. The essays in this volume, while making connections between these contexts, cumulatively situate her in a broader European tradition.
The volume includes interviews with Spark that cast light both on the course of her professional life and on her notably distinctive personality.
Contributors: Regina Barreca, Gerard Carruthers, Barbara Epler, John Glavin, Dan Gunn, Robert E. Hosmer Jr., Joseph Hynes, Gabriel Josipovici, Frank Kermode, John Lanchester, Doris Lessing, David Malcolm, John Mortimer, Alan Taylor, and John Updike.
“Hidden Possibilities combines solid scholarship with engaging personal tributes that, collectively, offer an unabashed celebration of Muriel Spark and her work. The essays are a significant addition to full-length studies of Spark while remaining accessible to Spark’s fans and readers." — Margaret E. Mitchell, University of West Georgia
“I teach Spark in undergraduate British literature and women’s literature courses. This book would be very useful to my students, and is really an ideal collection for undergraduates in that it demonstrates the breadth of critical approaches to an author’s work. In short, I think this is the rare book that would have crossover appeal to a general and scholarly audience and would be particularly useful for undergraduates or readers just being introduced to Spark’s _oeuvre.”_ — Julie Nash, University of Massachusetts Lowell
“. . . A satisfyingly eclectic mixture [of essays]. If the first section provides some much-needed sustained critical appreciation of Spark’s literary genius, the woman herself is brought wonderfully to life in the final essays . . .”. — Times Literary Supplement
“Hidden Possibilities: Essays in Honor of Muriel Spark, edited by Robert Ellis Hosmer, gathers distinguished writers from both sides of the Atlantic to offer an overview of Spark’s life and work. Critics have often read Spark in a somewhat narrow context. These essays situate her in a broader tradition." — Publishers Weekly
“Hosmer has assembled a distinguished mix of academics and notable popular authors (e.g., John Updike and Doris Lessing) to address various aspects of Spark’s vast bibliography and how her life informed her work . . . [T]he contributors present a fairly well-rounded and informed perspective on Spark’s oeuvre. Perhaps the strongest points of the volume are the interviews with Spark, in which her passion for writing and her remarkable wit are center stage.” — Library Journal
“[A]n excellent new collection of critical responses to the Scottish-born author’s work . . .”. — BookForum