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Muriel Spark, the Centenary

2018 marks the centenary of the birth of the iconic writer Muriel Spark. Best-known as the author of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Dame Muriel was a poet, writer of fiction, criticism and literary biography, and was at the top of her profession, internationally, for more than half a century. Never out of print, Muriel Spark wrote many well-known novels including The Driver’s Seat, The Girls of Slender Means and Memento Mori. Her work found critical approval, and her novels, where the supernatural and the surreal come into collision – and collusion – with the everyday, helped to change the face of fiction in the English language. Find out more about Muriel Spark and her books in this special category.

“Muriel Spark is not only the greatest Scottish novelist of the second half of the twentieth century, she is one of the world’s greatest writers. She may be best known for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie but that is only one among many of her books that deserves to be read and re-read.”   Alan Taylor, Founding editor of The Scottish Review of Books and Author of Appointment in Arezzo: A friendship with Muriel Spark.

Throughout 2018 there will be special events to celebrate the life and work of Muriel Spark which begin with all 22 novels being published in special hardback Centenary Editions. Further events include:

* In early 2018 leading Scottish writers including Ali Smith and Val McDermid discuss the career of Muriel Spark in a series of essays to the broadcast on Radio 3.

* An exhibition at The Writer's Museum, Edinburgh, marking the birth of one of the city's most famous daughters, running from Feb - June 2018.

* May 2018, Open the Door 2018: Words with Women Writers is an online festival showcasing women's writing, with special reference to Muriel Spark

* October 2018 a series of Poetry Criticism workshops using the work of Muriel Spark as an example.

Find all events at


Muriel Spark, DBE, C.Litt., was born in Edinburgh on 1 February 1918 and educated in Scotland. A poet and novelist, she also wrote children’s books, radio plays, a comedy Doctors of Philosophy, (first performed in London in 1962 and published 1963) and biographies of nineteenth-century literary figures, including Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë.

For her long career of literary achievement, which began in 1951, when she won a short-story competition in the Observer, Muriel Spark garnered international praise and many awards, which include 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 13 April 2006.

Find out more @MurielSpark100 and

You can find Muriel Spark’s full bibliography and more information about her life on the National Library of Scotland’s Muriel Spark website.

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