Muriel Spark is a native of Edinburgh, Scotland who has been a professional
writer since the 1940's. She has written 15 novels, three volumes of poetry,
several nonfiction studies, and numerous short stories, essays, and reviews.
Her earliest work was for the British political intelligence office at the
end of the Second World War and by the early 1950's, Spark was recognized
as a poet and critic, although she had not yet produced any serious fiction.
The winning of a fiction-writing contest in 1951 and the encouragement of
her publisher led to her career as a novelist. Her first novel, The Comforters,
was published in 1957. Since then she has written 17 novels, many of which
are influenced by her religious views (she converted to Roman Catholicism
in the early 1950's) and most of which have been well-received by public and
critics. Several of her novels have been adapted for the stage, film, and
television, the best-known being The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) which
appeared on Broadway and in a film version.