EPITAPH : MURIEL SPARK

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Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of some of the most influential people, who are no longer amongst us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the British writer, Muriel Spark.

Life as an Author

Dame Muriel Sarah Spark was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1918. She studied at James Gillespie’s High School for Girls and Heriot-Watt College. Spark enjoyed reading literature even as a young girl. Further, she had an aptitude for writing too. She won first prize in a local poetry competition as a teenager. While she did not attend university, this did not keep her from reading and continuing to learn.

In the early 40s, Spark fled from Central Africa to get away from a bad marriage. However, her time spent there became inspiration for her first series of short stories that were published in the 50s. In 1957, the author published her first novel titled The Comforters.

In total, Spark published over 20 novels through the span of her career. These include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Driver’s Seat (1970) and The Finishing School (2004). Several of her works were adapted to stage performances.

Muriel Spark’s Legacy

Spark was the recipient of many literary awards. These include Ingersoll Foundation T.S. Eliot Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Moreover, she was also honoured by the French government.

Spark died in 2006.


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