Muriel Spark celebration featuring Ian Rankin to be held in Edinburgh next year

Mrs Muriel Spark after she had received the OBE from the Queen (PA)

A special event celebrating the life of Muriel Spark will take place in Edinburgh next year.

Muriel Spark: Crème de la Crème will mark the centenary of the birth of the Scots author with an evening of readings, performances and storytelling at the city’s Usher Hall in January.

The occasion has been announced by the organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival and is part of the Muriel Spark 100 and the Book Festival’s Booked! Programme of events.

The literary fete is presented in partnership with the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Birlinn, and supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

The night will explore the life and work of the writer who penned 22 novels, including the classic The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said that Scotland’s capital is where Spark created her unmistakable writing style.

He 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.”

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, 7.15pm, Wednesday 31 January, Usher Hall, Edinburgh.  

Event lasts 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  or telephone 0131 228 1155.

The event is part of Muriel Spark 100 centenary programme. More information on

Muriel Spark novels to be republished to mark 100 years since birth