Loitering with Intent
First edition (UK)
Bodley Head (UK)|
|Media type||Print & Audio|
Loitering with Intent is a novel by Scottish author Muriel Spark. Published in 1981 by Bodley Head, it was short-listed for the Booker Prize that year. It contains many autobiographical references to Spark's early career and was reprinted in 2001 by New Directions, in the US, and in 2007 by Virago Press in the UK (with a foreword by Mark Lawson).
Fleur Talbot is struggling to complete her first novel, Warrender Chase, in London in the early 1950s. She manages to secure a job working for Sir Quentin Oliver as secretary to the Autobiographical Association, whose eccentric members are seeking to write their memoirs. Fleur assists them and gains valuable source material for her novel, while growing increasingly suspicious that Sir Quentin may be blackmailing the association's members. Sir Quentin meanwhile discovers Fleur's novel in progress and seeks to suppress it, as it reveals his plans. Fact and fiction imitate each other as Fleur and Sir Quentin compete for the truth.
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