Dame Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh in 1918. Her writing career spanned 22 novels and many other works including poetry, essays and short stories. She was twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize and her work received much international acclaim. In 1993 she was made a Dame for services to literature, and in 1998 she received the Golden PEN Award. Later in life she settled in Tuscany, where she died in 2006.