Muriel Spark: The Driver’s Seat
With 2018 marking Muriel Spark’s centenary, she has been receiving a lot of attention in the Scottish media. Most famous for her novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark is perhaps one of Scotland’s most celebrated authors. The National Library of Scotland and Creative Scotland have organised a programme named ‘Spark at 100’ to celebrate her life and work. The programme includes many events, including Spark walking tours of Edinburgh, several authors leading talks about her work, and an exhibition held in the National Library of Scotland.
Well, then, 2018 seems like the ideal time to read some of Spark’s work.
Although The Driver’s Seat was written in 1970, it highlights issues regarding women’s agency and lack of power in society. Without giving too much away, The Driver’s Seat follows Lise, who is determined to take back control of her life as she goes abroad with the intention of convincing someone to murder her. The reader knows she is murdered very early on in the novel, and Spark drip feeds the reader information about Lise’s psychological state. Although it is hard to relate to Lise as a character, it is impossible not to be fascinated as to why she would do such a thing. Although the book is only 180 pages long, Spark has created a complex main character who the reader can feel both sorry for and disturbed by.
HCAU Rating: 5/5
More information about ‘Spark at 100’ can be found at: https://murielspark100.com/