Edinburgh International Book Festival Announce Celebration of Muriel Spark

Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced a special event to take place in January 2018 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Muriel Spark, one of Scotland’s greatest writers. Muriel Spark:  Crème de la Crème will feature readings and performances from Spark’s body of work, as well as personal stories from friends, leading authors and other special guests. As part of Muriel Spark 100 and the Book Festival’s Booked! Programme of events supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Muriel Spark: Crème de la Crème will take place on Wednesday 31 January at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.
Presented in partnership with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Birlinn, Muriel Spark: Crème de la Crème will explore the life and work of the author who wrote 22 novels, including the world renowned The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Spark was also a poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic whose work has influenced a generation of Scottish writers. A host of headline authors, actors and special guests will read, perform and share their passion for this 20th century legend. 
Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “Muriel Spark may have spent her later years living in Italy, but Edinburgh was the city in which she forged her unforgettable literary style. There’s so much more to Spark’s work than Miss Jean Brodie: this celebration of her 100th birthday will give us all a timely reminder of why her work was, quite simply, the crème de la crème of Scottish writing. Following on from Muriel’s appearance at the Book Festival in 2004, this event is our tribute to one of Edinburgh’s all-time greats.”
In a specially commissioned presentation, her great friend, the literary critic and author of Appointment in Arezzo, Alan Taylor and Rosemary Goring, Herald Literary Editor and adapter of Far Cry from Kensington for radio, will guide the audience through the life of this most unconventional of writers. 
A daughter of Edinburgh, Muriel Spark travelled the world taking in London, Zimbabwe and New York before resting in the hills of the Tuscan countryside.
For the first time since 1963, Spark’s play Doctors of Philosophy will be presented on stage through performed extracts, directed by the Lyceum’s Artistic Director, David Greig.  Literary stars from Edinburgh including Ian Rankin will share their stories, favourite novels and why Spark continues to light up the literary landscape with her ‘goodness, truth and beauty’.
Muriel Spark: Crème de la Crème will take place at 7.15pm on Wednesday 31 January in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.  The event will last 90 minutes and will be followed by a book signing where the first 7 newly published Centenary Editions of Muriel Spark’s 22 novels will be available to buy.  Tickets (priced £15/£12) are available from today through the Usher Hall Box Office, online through www.usherhall.co.uk or telephone 0131 228 1155.
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I am delighted that funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is supporting Edinburgh International Book Festival in the expansion of their Booked! on-the-road programme. This new event is a very exciting addition.”
Booked!, the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the road around Scotland throughout the year, is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  This event is part of Muriel Spark 100 centenary programme. More information on www.murielspark100.com 
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