Muriel Spark has turned one hundred — and what better way to celebrate than with an event in her honour? Join Alan Taylor, Rosemary Goring and Candia McWilliam as they discuss Spark's life, and the re-issue of her work to celebrate her centenary. It promises to be a fascinating insight into Spark, her life, inspiration and writings, from three fantastic speakers. A chance to get better acquainted with one of Scotland's most famous novelists.
Alan Taylor will talk about his recent biography of Spark, 'Appointment in Arezzo', and there will be the opportunity for a signing.
Muriel Spark (born February 1, 1918) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. She began writing seriously after the war, beginning with poetry and literary criticism. In 1947, she became editor of the Poetry Review. Her first novel The Comforters was published in 1957, but it was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1962) which established her reputation. After living in New York for some years, she settled in Italy in the late 1960s. She became Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1993.
Alan Taylor met Muriel Spark in 1990 for a newspaper feature and a friendship was formed. As a journalist and critic, he has contributed to numerous publications, including The TLS, The New Yorker and The Melbourne Age, and edited four acclaimed anthologies – The Assassin’s Cloak (2000), The Secret Annexe (2004), The Country Diaries (2009) and most recently, Glasgow: The Autobiography (2016).
Rosemary Goring has written the introduction to the Centenary Edition of The Girls of Slender Means and adapted A Far Cry From Kensington for BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime. She was the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, The Herald and the Sunday Herald. In 2007 she published Scotland: The Autobiography, which has since been published in America and Russia. She is also the author of two novels, After Flodden and Dacre’s War.
Candia McWilliam has written the introduction to the Centenary Edition of Robinson and has given the annual Muriel Spark lecture at the National Library of Scotland. She was born in Edinburgh in 1955 and educated at Girton College, Cambridge. Her first novel, A Case of Knives, was joint winner of the Betty Trask Prize in 1988 and her latest book, What to Look for in Winter, movingly detailed her struggle with blindness.