Muriel Spark continued to write after she moved to Tuscany in 1979. From 'Loitering With Intent' in 1981, she released a steady stream of characters and situations into the literary world.
Her 22nd novel, 'The Finishing School', takes a satirical look at creative writing in the classroom. Published in March 2004, this was to be her last completed novel. The same year, she published 'All the Poems', a volume of poetry which spanned her writing career. Her 23rd novel was unfinished when Muriel Spark died in April 2006.
Muriel received numerous awards during her career, beginning with the prestigious Italia Prize in 1962 for an adaptation of 'The Ballad of Peckham Rye'. She received many honorary degrees, and became 'Dame Muriel Spark' when she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1993.
The Muriel Spark archive at the National Library of Scotland contains evidence of the impression the author made on her many readers over the years, and hundreds of fan letters are testament to the popularity of her books.
Her work also found critical approval. A review of her collected short stories in 'The Scotsman' newspaper in 2001 described them as 'one of the greatest collections of short fiction in English'.
Muriel Spark's novels, with their unique blend of realism, satire and allegory, helped to change the face of fiction in the English language.