1st February 2018 marks the centenary of the birth of classic Scottish author, Muriel Spark. Here Harriet Sanders tells the story of how Muriel came to Macmillan.

What’s every aspiring writer’s dream? Surely it’s to be asked to write a novel by a prestigious editor from an important Publishing Company.

Well that’s exactly what happened to Muriel Spark, who in the 1950’s was an impoverished short story writer. Recognising her talent, Macmillan Publishers persuaded her to quit her short stories in favour of novel writing. They published her first novel, The Comforters, to great critical acclaim in 1957.  

From then on her success grew and grew with a succession of novels which were short, funny, acerbic and impeccably crafted such as The Ballad of Peckham Rye and The Girls of Slender Means, both of which I particularly recommend – here are the covers of the first editions published in 1960 and 1963.

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Her most famous and bestselling novel is The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie which is published as part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library.

 
This year marks the 100th anniversary of her birth and is the perfect opportunity to discover or to revisit one of the most talented and original women writers of the 20th century.