The Finishing School

Muriel Spark

The Finishing School by Muriel Spark (Paperback ISBN 9781782117575) book cover

Available as Paperback

Now available as a stunning Canon‘A work of glittering Sparkian ice, whose thinly frozen surface tempts you to jump up and down jovially above something deeper and darker’ ALI SMITH

‘One of her funniest novels … Spark at her sharpest, her purest and her most merciful’ ALI SMITH

In The Finishing School Muriel Spark is once again at her biting, satirical best. On the edge of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, a struggling would-be novelist and his wife run a finishing school of questionable reputation to keep the funds flowing. When a seventeen-year-old student’s writing career begins to show great promise, tensions run high.

A keen portrait of devouring regret, psychological unravelling and the glittering promise of youth, The Finishing School is the perfect natural partner to Muriel Spark’s most famous novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.


“An eloquent, subtle, poetic exploration of what words are and what they do to us. Enchanting, devastating, genius”
Helen Dunmore
the Times

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“Has one of the funniest opening pages Spark has ever written and it’s full of her incomparable humour”
evening Standard

”Delightful, laced with wry and witty observations. A rich satire”
daily Mail

“My admiration for Spark’s contribution to world literature knows no bounds. She was peerless, sparkling, inventive and intelligent - the crème de la crème”
Ian Rankin

“This is a work, as usual, of glittering Sparkian ice, whose thinly frozen surface tempts you to jump up and down jovially above something deeper and darker … One wonders at the simplicity and the intricacy of the plot, blowaway as gossamer … One marvels too at the under-surface play of spiritual light and dark … One of her funniest novels … Spark at her sharpest, her purest and her most merciful”
Ali Smith


Muriel Spark

Muriel Spark, DBE, C.Litt., was born in Edinburgh in 1918 and educated in Scotland. A poet and novelist, she is most well known for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She also wrote children’s books, radio plays, the comedy Doctors of Philosophy and biographies of nineteenth-century literary figures, including Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë. Muriel Spark has garnered international praise and many awards, including the David Cohen Prize for Literature, the Ingersoll T.S. Eliot Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Boccaccio Prize for European Literature, the Gold Pen Award, the first Enlightenment Award and the Italia Prize for dramatic radio. She died in 2006.