The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: A Novel (Paperback)
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Each year when fall rolls around, I treat myself to a reread of Muriel Sparks's classic novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. It's sharp, it's witty, and you can read it in a day.— Lindsay
Now in a special edition marking the 100th anniversary of the author’s birth, Muriel Spark’s classic novel, widely hailed as one of the 20th century’s best.
At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her crème de la crème. Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."
And they do. But one of them will betray her.
Dame Muriel Spark (1918-2006) wrote more than twenty books, including Memento Mori, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, and Symposium.
“Admirably written.” — Saturday Review
“A gloriously witty and polished vignette.” — Times Literary Supplement
“Remarkable: Surprises are systematically reduced until there is only one left, and it is like the stab of a stiletto.” — Spectator
“[A] lovely new edition. . . . With caustic humor and stripped-down restraint, Spark makes us feel Jean Brodie’s sadness and ache. Maggie Smith played the character in a famous film, but the book itself is even more powerful.” — Los Angeles Times
“A remarkable novel.” — New Statesman
“A perfect book.” — Chicago Tribune
“Intelligent, witty. . . . Spark’s powers of invention are apparently inexhaustible.” — Commonweal
“Muriel Spark is one of the few writers on either side of the Atlantic with enough resources, daring, and stamina to be altering, as well as feeding, the fiction machine.” — John Updike, The New Yorker