The Girl I Left Behind Me by Muriel Spark
Muriel Spark was a Scottish novelist, short story writer and poet. Her work was praised internationally for its biting wit and satire.
Spark often dealt with themes of childhood and adolescence in her stories. Often she juxtaposed the seemingly harmless fears of children with more serious and sometimes deadly situations.
The Portobello Road
Portobello Road, a quaint street in Notting Hill, is home to a fabulously British market of antiques, artisan food and quirky knickknacks. This stretch of London is also the setting for several well-known movies.
The street is a popular tourist attraction for tourists and locals. It’s a short walk from Ladbroke Grove Tube Station, and you can easily access it by foot or by bus. The market is open every day of the week except Monday.
There are five sections of the market: clothing and fashion, second-hand goods, household essentials, fruit and veg, and antiques. The clothing and fashion section is open daily, but the antique stalls are only open on Saturdays.
A market is a place where people sell their wares and is an important part of a community’s identity. Portobello Road Market is one of the best-loved in London, and has a long history as a place for shoppers.
Its main section is on Portobello Road, but there are smaller stalls along the route as well. The area is known for its quaint, cozy cafes and independent shops.
Visitors come from all over the world to shop at Portobello Road Market. It is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience a unique, charming street in London.
Although it is open all year, Portobello Road is especially busy during the summer and autumn, when it plays host to a variety of street events. It’s also a great spot to find a bargain, as many of the items sold at the market are incredibly cheap.
The stalls at Portobello Road Market are divided into sections, and the antique dealers are located further north than the other stalls. The other stalls are open throughout the week, but the most popular day to visit is Saturday, when all of the stalls are in full swing.
Muriel Spark was a writer who often wrote about issues that were difficult to discuss or even talk about. Her books are psychologically interesting and make readers think about the way they view life. She wrote about love, relationships and human suffering in her novels.
Bang-Bang You’re Dead
As a 19-year-old, Muriel Spark left her home in Scotland for Southern Africa. It was a move that would change her life for the better, she later wrote in Curriculum Vitae.
She met Sydney Oswald Spark, a schoolteacher who offered to send her to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to teach. But before she could leave, he confessed that he was cheating on her with another woman. He also had no interest in a child, and so she left the baby behind when she went.
Muriel’s African years were brutal. She lived in a tough, racially-divided society. She was surrounded by murderous people and she became depressed. She was forced to take care of herself (and write) and the experience had an enormous impact on her.
Her writing was dark and devastating, and she used the turbulence of her youth to great effect. She would continue to write, but she would not be able to match her early successes.
The first seven years of her son Robin’s life were her prime. But she was not a good mother and it made her cold.
Having left Robin at the convent in Gwelo, she moved to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia to wait for the divorce. But the war was raging, and travel with children was illegal. She was able to get away to Britain but only after boarding her son with her parents.
It was a difficult time, but she did what so many mothers of the day did: She shed her burden from afar. It was a shame that she couldn’t find a husband who would have been happy to be her support.
In 1992, she had published 22 novels and short stories. Her name was on the mastheads of literary magazines. But in that era, writers were not judged by their relationships with their children.
She had a troubled relationship with her son, and his father had been an unreliable partner. But she wasn’t ready to let the past be part of her legacy.
She didn’t want her son to be the subject of her books. She didn’t feel it was her job to write about a relationship she didn’t connect with. She had no desire to become a mother again and her marriage had already been seen as a mistake.
The Pawnbroker’s Wife
The Pawnbroker’s Wife is one of Muriel Spark’s most famous short stories. In it she explores the relationship between people and their inner worlds, revealing that a person’s morality is not determined by his social status or education but rather by what he believes in.
Her characters are often unwittingly corrupted by their own desires. Mrs Jan Cloote is an example of this; she is a corrupt woman who exploits her family’s resources and deceives the narrator in order to maintain control over the situation.
Spark is well known for her excellent character-drawing and her ability to depict the complexities of human relations. She writes about the lives of ordinary people, their problems, their misunderstandings and their attempts to solve them. She uses a lot of irony and sarcasm to describe her characters.
Among her many works, she wrote over 20 novels, various collections of poetry and criticism, and several children’s books. Her work received numerous awards, including the US Ingersoll Foundation TS Eliot Award in 1992 and the British Literature Prize in 1997.
She also wrote a book of autobiography, Curriculum Vitae, in which she discusses her early life and the circumstances that shaped her writing career. The book is a fascinating read, and it is interesting to see how much she left out of her memoirs in favor of focusing on what she had to say.
Her story The Go-Away Bird, for instance, was inspired by her time in Africa. She had traveled to Zimbabwe for business, and she found herself in situations that exercised her imagination. She relates her experience in an eerie and spooky way, and the Gothic motif of the double is prominent.
In The Pawnbroker’s Wife, she tells a story about a pawnbroker’s wife and her daughters. She shows the family’s complex relations with their inner world and their complicated relationships with each other, their distorted perception of the world around them and the ways they try to cope with it.
The main theme of the story is how a pawnbroker’s family struggles to keep their identity as white South Africans. They are outcasts and feel that they do not belong anywhere. They are unable to assimilate into their new society and they suffer because of it.
The Go-Away Bird
In this story, muriel spark shows her characteristic talent for constructing a psychologically interesting narrative. She often resisted revealing too much of her characters’ inner lives, and this allowed her readers to fill in the gaps themselves.
She also showed her mastery of the short story form, a genre she wrote in for many years. Her plots expose human foibles with a lighthearted, ironic, or mysterious tone. In her tales, characters may be subtly malevolent or sinisterly civilized, but evil is punished and hypocrisy exposed.
Spark’s stories are typically set in England or British colonies. In her later novels, such as The Mandelbaum Gate and Territorial Rights, she drew more heavily on her African experiences.
The Go-Away Bird (Corythaixoides concolor) is a common species in arid woodlands and thorn savannahs of Southern Africa. Its name derives from its loud “kwehi” or go-away call.
This loud, squawking bird calls out in an attempt to intimidate other birds. It’s often found near desert rivers or thorny savannahs where its favorite food is acacia tree pods.
Its cries can also be heard in forests, but it prefers to be hidden in dense foliage. The go-away bird lays three eggs and incubates them for about 28 days.
When the eggs hatch, the birds begin to feed. They eat seeds, fruits and leaves, but they also rely on insects for food. The go-away bird is a bold and common member of the African bush and thorny savannah.
A hummingbird-like bird, the grey go-away bird is a bold and commonly seen species of arid savannahs and woodlands of Southern Africa. Its name derives largely from its loud “go-away” call, which may sound like “gwaa” to other species.
In the story, the bird’s call dramatizes the threatening aspects of Africa. Daphne, a young woman from Africa, wants to escape her stifling climate and return to England. She finds this desire bolstered by the cry of the go-away bird.
The story is a fun, well-constructed example of how Spark used her own experience in Africa to write about a variety of issues. Through her character Daphne, she demonstrates skilfully that the idea of “England” is stubborn myth.