Dame Muriel Spark's witty and pungent twentieth novel draws on her rich experience of turning reality into fiction and fiction into film. Tom Richards has fallen off a crane while directing his latest movie, The Hamburger Girl, fracturing some ribs ...
and a hip. A comic procession of doctors, nurses, and relatives files through his hospital room. Another director replaces him at the studio, and everything in his cinematic dream is being changed - the screenplay, the title, the plot. Tom is baffled and furious. His children's marriages are coming apart, and who can be certain of his own? People everywhere are losing their jobs. His real life and his creative life become ever more displaced while he gradually recovers his health, his balance, and his natural imbalance. Tom's understanding wife, Claire; their daughter Marigold, for whom Tom has ambivalent feelings; his beautiful daughter Cora, by his first marriage; and his lovers, family, friends, and colleagues all find themselves revolvin