“A masterpiece. No one could read it and mistake its force. Only Muriel Spark would have dreamed of writing it. The book’s near-jaunty tone would, in some fictional universes, be at odds with its jet-black content. In Spark-world, they go together, like murderer and victim.”
New Directions was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914 - 1997), then a twenty-two-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. "I asked Ezra Pound for 'career advice,'" James Laughlin recalled. "He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do 'something' useful."