The publishing career of
She is, however, best known for her twenty-three novels, and especially for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
, 1961. She experimented with the longer novel, but her critical and commercial success came with shorter works. She said she preferred minor
novels, in which she could explore precisely defined subjects within clear formal boundaries.
spanned the later twentieth century, extending beyond each end of that fifty-year period. She began writing as a poet, and went on to short fiction, literary criticism, biography, journalism, and drama. Having come to prose fiction through narrative poetry, she only gradually came to take the novel genre seriously.