Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh in 1918. A poet, essayist, biographer and novelist, she won much international praise, including being twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The Times placed her eighth in its list of the Fifty Greatest British Writers Since 1945. She died in Tuscany in 2006.
Zoë Strachan was born in Kilmarnock in 1975. Her first novel, Negative Space, was published by Picador in 2002. Zoë teaches on the Creative Writing Programme at the University of Glasgow and is on the board of directors of the Glasgow Women’s Library.