Art, reality and the strange ways the two imitate one another are at the core of Muriel Spark's delightful Loitering with Intent, first published in 1981. Would-be novelist Fleur Talbot works for the snooty, irascible Sir Quentin Oliver at the Autobiographical Association, whose members are all at work on their memoirs. When her employer gets his hands on Fleur's novel-in-progress, mayhem ensues when its scenes begin coming true. Generating hilarious turns of phrase and larger-than-life characters (especially Sir Quentin's batty mother), Spark's inimitable style make this literary joyride thoroughly appealing.
Born in Edinburgh, Muriel Spark was internationally famous and received the Italia Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the FNAC Prix Etranger and the Saltire Prize, among many others. She was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1978 and to L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 1988. She died in April 2006.