The Girl I Left Behind Me by Muriel Spark

the girl i left behind me by muriel spark summary

‘The girl i left behind me’ by Muriel Spark is a story of love, loss, friendship and forgiveness, and it is a novel with an incredibly touching and poignant message. It is a wonderful, emotional read that will take you on a journey of self-discovery. Ultimately, the novel shows how love can be overcome, and how we should always remember to forgive ourselves.

Writer’s relationship with Africa

Leaving Scotland for Rhodesia at the age of 19 was a significant move for Muriel Spark. It forced her to take care of herself. She had no university training and had no patrons.

Muriel Spark wrote many short stories about life in religious institutions. She was unapologetically pro-birth control. She also had a strong interest in religion. She converted to Catholicism. But her faith was not the traditional Catholic theology. It was more idiosyncratic and less sin-obsessed than Waugh’s.

Spark was raised in a Christian home. She was a fan of soap operas. She also had men as lovers. But Spark’s husband, Solly, physically assaulted her. The relationship ended in divorce.

She was engaged to Sydney Oswald Spark, a teacher. They had a child together, Robin. The boy grew up with his grandparents. He did not return to his mother until he was seven. Spark’s husband was not wealthy. He did not improve his social status.

Spark’s memoir is not an especially good one. It is not very detailed. She doesn’t explain the writing process. She doesn’t explain why she wrote certain stories. She doesn’t discuss her relationship with her son.

However, she does discuss the story that was most notable. It was her submission to the Observer of London. She wrote a thought piece on the subject. The story reportedly won over 6,000 entries.

The Observer thought piece isn’t a real story, but it is a good one. The story describes a supernatural surprise. The story is also about a haunting place.

The story also tells us something about the writer’s relationship with Africa. She was there for seven years.

She wrote about a time when it was difficult to travel with children. The spirit of the times was against the South African model.


Among the many intriguing themes in Muriel Spark’s work is the issue of segregation. This is a subject that Spark addresses through satire. Spark’s narrative voice is often a distant one. However, in some of her best stories, the reader is forced to think about and evaluate the characters.

In one of Spark’s most memorable stories, The Dry River Bed, the main character, Borden Reeves, is a half-black settler who has a secret. He is bound up with three other figures. His secret proves to be an obstacle to marriage. He is also a victim of segregation.

The story of “The Dry River Bed” also serves as a sequel to “The Portobello Road”. The two stories arose from a collaboration between Spark and her husband, Sydney Oswald Spark, a school teacher in Southern Rhodesia.

Spark’s African writings reveal a complex encounter with colonialism. While she is more sympathetic towards the missionaries, she is also aware of the racist terms that colonial characters use.

Her stories often portray Africans as being victims of colonial oppression. Her tales are often set in Europe, but are also set in Africa. Her short stories are a rich source of psychological detail.

African experiences influenced Spark’s vision. She became a keen observer of life in Africa. She was particularly aware of the casual cruelty of colonists. They could be murderous.

Spark used satire to explore how people could build community based on listening. She contrasted the innocent fears of children with the serious cruelty of adults. The stories also satirize the cacophonous anarchisms of the 1950s and 1960s.

The impact of Spark’s African experiences is now being explored by Eleanor Byrne. She has written a book on how Spark’s time in Africa affected her writing.

Scottish-African cultural connections

Historically, Scotland-African cultural connections run deep. Scotland was named in honour of Prince Gathelus’ love for the daughter of Pharaoh, Scota. There are a number of sources claiming that Scota was black, but some believe she was of Greek ancestry.

Since the late 17th century, Scotland has developed a distinctive national identity. The sense of a working class has been a defining feature of Scottish national identity. Throughout the twentieth century, mass literacy helped to develop the popular conception of Scots as a nation committed to education and self-improvement.

Today, there are about six thousand blacks and eight thousand five hundred people of other ethnicities living in Scotland. Many of the non-white Scottish people face racism.

The relationship between Scotland and Africa extends beyond education and governance. It also includes the arts. Several African-based writers have lived in Scotland. Those include Leila Aboulela, Tawona Sithole, and Jackie Kay.

The University of Edinburgh established the Centre of African Studies in 1994. It has been running a number of projects since then, including re-discovering the provenance of 12 African artists who worked in Scotland in the twentieth century.

In addition, the Scottish Black Arts Forum has established a new cultural programme called Ancestral Voices. It is a collaborative production programme that uses song, dance and theatre. The programme will visit The Arches in Glasgow on 21-23 March. During this time, ten youngsters of African heritage will be paired with ten children of Syrian refugees. The aim is to build new cultural connections and encourage understanding.

The Scottish Refugee Council supports this project. It has also worked with a pen pal project for children from minority ethnic communities in Renfrewshire. This project encourages children to learn about the culture of their pen pals and to build new friendships. The pen pals also share their experiences and learn about each other’s families.

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