The Bottle Imp was first published in May 2007. You can browse all our back issues here:
With a writing career that included biography, criticism, drama and short fiction as well as novels, Muriel Spark was never one to do things by halves. Those unfamiliar with her work might think otherwise, considering the now-unfashionable slimness of her numerous books. The contemporary publishing industry favours the blockbuster, the trilogy, and the continuing series – or at the very least books with a spine-width broad enough to catch a punter’s jaded eye across a crowded marketplace. (Contemporary readers, though, may be rather more in tune: many people appreciate the merits of a fast and flashing story, executed stylishly, and well.) Spark’s novels in particular are brief, quick, and very final, with no loose ends left dangling; when she writes characters, they stay written.