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On Her Way Rejoicing

Muriel Spark: The Biography, by Martin Stannard; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009, $66.95. For those who believe a great author should be remembered more for her work than her life, any biography will fall short, since it isn’t literary criticism. Biography serves a different purpose and has different readers. While some readers do want a biography to shed more light on her work, some are obsessed with a psychological dissection of her life, some crave gossip and other forms of debunking, and some are simply celebrity voyeurs. Given such tabloid tendencies—of looking for the bad and wanting to know whether the great…

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