Author, born in Edinburgh, has been at the top of the international literary world for more than half a century. Dame Muriel Spark made her debut as a novelist in 1957 with The Comforters, and in 2004 her latest and 22nd novel, The Finishing School, was published. She is also the author of a large number of biographies, critical studies and collections of poetry and her reputation has broadened through radio, television, film and theatre. Her best-known book, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which tells the story of a Scottish school teacher whose liberated and eccentric lifestyle in the inter-war period leads to her losing her job, was adapted into a movie in 1969 and remade as a television series in 1978.
The Sparkian world is peopled by ordinary, familiar characters and often features powerful and iron-willed women. Her perceptive portraits of the present age disclose a poetic outlook on the world and a characteristic humorous edge. As an admirer of the art of storytelling Dame Muriel Spark has loved Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales all her life.
During her career she has received countless literary tributes and honors. In 1993 she was appointed Dame of the British Empire, and in 1997 she received the David Cohen British Literature Prize for Lifetime Achievement. The National Library of Scotland has more than 300 records of translations of Dame Muriel Spark's works - an indication of how well the author communicates across different cultures. Dame Muriel Spark has traveled in the Middle East and India and lived in Africa, America and France and currently resides in Italy.