Character is Destiny

March 31, 2010 | No Comments

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, Thomas Mallon reviews Martin Stannard’s new biography of Muriel Spark, concluding “one feels that Stannard, in nearly all essentials, has got things right.” I’m eager to read this biography, being a Spark fan, and I appreciated Mallon’s succinct and astute conclusion that “her books have ended up proving what they were most bent on denying: that character is destiny. Spark’s work, and mostly notably her novella, The Driver’s Seat, is receiving some welcome new interest since it’s inclusion on the short list for the one-off Lost Man Booker Prize, to be awarded on May 15th. Discover the history behind the award along with details of the six shortlisted books (all published in 1970) and vote for the winner here. An interesting article by one of the judging panel, Rachel Cooke, appeared recently in The Guardian. (Shirley Hazzard, another of my favorite writers has made the cut, though I’ve voted for The Driver’s Seat over The Bay of Noon, despite the latter’s perfections, because the former, the first time I read it, knocked my socks off.)