Muriel Spark Centenary Celebrations

By January 31, 2018Authors, Literary Events, News

The great Scottish author Dame Muriel Spark would have been 100 years old on the 1st February this year. She was born in Edinburgh in 1918, married young and lived in Zimbabwe, moving back to London after the war. In 1963 she moved to New York and in 1967 to Rome, she died at the age of 88 at her home in Florence. Her books which are full of wit and wisdom, appeal equally to both men and women, and have never dated because her style is so fresh and modern.

If you’re not familiar with Spark’s work you may be wondering where to start. William Boyd (a self confessed super fan) advised listeners of BBC Radio 4’s Book Club to start with what are in his mind her best works, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (USUK), “The Girls of Slender Means,” (USUK) “Loitering with Intent,” (USUK) and “A Far Cry From Kensington.” (USUK) He stated that these books all set in London and Edinburgh are “autobiographical” and the best introduction to her work.

In the same programme, Editor and writer of a recent memoir of Muriel Spark ‘Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark’ (USUK) Alan Taylor, recommended starting “with The Comforters, start where she started and then take them slowly, like a good brandy, don’t glut”

Whichever way you decide to read them, or if you’re already a Spark fan, it’s great news that to celebrate this centenary Polygon are reprinting all 22 of her novels. These stylish collectable editions will have a series preface by editor Alan Taylor and an introduction by writers or critics such as William Boyd, Alexander McCall Smith and Ali Smith. The first five have already been published and the next four, including “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” will be published on the anniversary with the remainder coming during the course of the year.

If you want to read more about Muriel Spark or about the events being organised to celebrate her Centenary head over to

New UK Editions, Coming Feb 8th

The Girls of Slender Means UK

New UK Editions, Coming Feb 8th

The Prime of Mrs Jean Brodie UK

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