Muriel Spark 100

Muriel Spark 100
In her centenary year, Muriel Spark is being celebrated across the world for the astonishing breadth and diversity of her writing. But Edinburgh was special to the brilliant Bruntsfield-born writer who always considered herself ‘Scottish by formation’. In the year when all 22 novels are republished by Birlinn, we have gathered together an array of writers to remind us of the power of her work. Partnerships with BBC Scotland, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Durham University bring the author’s work captivatingly to life.

Janice Galloway on Muriel Spark

A Tribute to Muriel Spark

Saturday 11 August 11:45 - 12:45

We're celebrating Muriel Spark’s centenary year with a series of tributes to the great Scottish writer. In this, our opening event, Janice Galloway, the internationally-acclaimed Scottish author of novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction (and...

Spark, Sex and Shopping

Pleasures in Prose

Monday 13 August 13:30 - 14:30

‘I sensed romance, sex,’ Muriel Spark said in her autobiography, recalling her teacher Miss Christina Kay. Shopping, too, was another lifelong preoccupation; her novels are replete with memorable scenes when characters shop and…shoplift. Louise...

Muriel Spark's London

Bright Light in the Big City

Tuesday 14 August 17:00 - 18:00

Muriel Spark was born and bred in Edinburgh but it is London, the city of bedsits, bachelors and bombed out buildings, that features most often in her fiction. James Campbell of the Times Literary Supplement, and Rosemary Goring, literary editor of the...

All About Miss Jean Brodie

Characters in their Prime

Wednesday 15 August 10:00 - 11:00

Muriel Spark’s name is synonymous with The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. But what makes the charismatic teacher such a fascinating character? What are the similarities between her and her real-life inspiration, Miss Christina Kay? The award-winning...

Muriel Spark, Religion and Exile

A Religious Understanding

Friday 17 August 10:00 - 11:00

Muriel Spark described herself as ‘a constitutional exile’ who, though educated in a Presbyterian school and raised observing Jewish rituals, opted to convert to Catholicism. Gabriel Josipovici and Kapka Kassabova, who have written introductions to...

Radio Spark: The Driver's Seat

Novel Performance

Friday 17 August 18:30 - 20:00

As part of the Muriel Spark centenary celebrations, BBC Radio 4 presented the dramatic adaptation of one of Spark’s iconic novels, The Driver’s Seat, an unsettling story of a woman’s dark journey masterminding her own destruction. In this special...
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Alan Taylor

Loitering with Muriel Spark

Saturday 18 August 14:00 - 15:00

Map the Voices of Spark's Characters

Creative Workshop

Sunday 19 August 17:00 - 19:00

Using playful exercises and prompts, and your knowledge of Muriel Spark’s characters, chart the voices you ‘hear’ to create a unique map to take away. You may choose to have it contribute to an atlas of reading experiences. Durham University’s...

Map the Voices of Spark's Characters

Creative Workshop

Monday 20 August 10:00 - 12:00

Using playful exercises and prompts, and your knowledge of Muriel Spark’s characters, chart the voices you ‘hear’ to create a unique map to take away. You may choose to have it contribute to an atlas of reading experiences. Durham University’s...

John Foxwell & Patricia Waugh

The Many Voices of Muriel Spark

Monday 20 August 19:15 - 20:15

Muriel Spark’s characters are famously acerbic and witheringly satirical but what was her relationship to the voices that inspired and defined them? John Foxwell and Patricia Waugh from the Department of English and Hearing the Voice project at Durham...

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