A Far Cry from Kensington
Fiction by Muriel Spark
Nancy Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry From Kensington, takes us by the hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London, where she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher (“of very good books”) and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington boarding house. She found evil everywhere: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters; blackmail; and suicide.
Looking back on those years from her new perch in Italy, Mrs. Hawkins recounts how that time changed her life forever, using the novel as a platform for advice. “It’s easy to get thin,” she says. “You eat and drink the same as always, only half… I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book.”