Muriel Spark in Chinese

Scottish classic to be translated in centenary year.

A new Chinese edition of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie will be published in China to mark the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark’s birth.

The publication will carry a foreword written by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who announced the new publication at an event at Fudan University in Shanghai to celebrate both Muriel Spark’s centenary and China’s year-long ‘Inspiring Women in the Arts’ campaign.

Addressing an audience of students, academics and publishing professionals she spoke of her love of Muriel Spark, and her work to encourage young people to take up reading through the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

The event was organised by the British Council and attended by Chen ZhiMin, Associate Vice President of Fudan University, Scottish-based authors Claire McFall and Louise Welsh, Chinese author ‎Jing Xing, Wang Hong Tu, Director of Shanghai Writers’ Association and Creative Scotland’s Head of Literature, Languages and Publishing Jenny Niven.

The First Minister said:

“I am delighted that Chinese readers will be soon able to enjoy a new edition of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and as a huge admirer of Muriel Spark’s work I am honoured to be given the opportunity to write the foreword.

“This publication highlights the global appeal of Muriel Spark, and underlines her status as one of Scotland’s best-loved writers. She has inspired countless female authors to take up writing, and I’m confident she will continue to do so.

“Scotland’s creative industries are vital for the economy, and publishing plays an important role in that. The global programme of events being held to mark the 100th anniversary of Muriel Spark can only help to promote the spread and popularity of Scottish authors.”

Nick Marchand, the British Council’s Director Arts - China and North East Asia, said:

“In a year of Inspiring Women in the Arts in China, we’re delighted to support Scotland’s celebrations of the Centenary Year of Muriel Spark. It’s thrilling to connect a literary history with contemporary Scottish writers Louise Welsh and Claire McFall - particularly given Claire’s cult following in China for Ferryman. What’s more, it’s clear the connections made with Shanghai’s Fudan University through a shared love of literature now offer some exciting opportunities for creative collaboration in the future.”

Jenny Niven said:

“It is just fantastic that Muriel Spark’s centenary is being honoured in China in this way. As a true internationalist herself I’d like to think Muriel would be delighted too that her work is being introduced to new audiences around the world.

“The First Minister’s contribution of the foreword to the new translation of Miss Jean Brodie is a clear testament to the value that she places on reading and on literature – and will no doubt make the book a collectors’ edition. Louise Welsh and Claire McFall illustrate the importance of sharing stories between cultures and nations and we’re delighted they’ve participated in this extraordinary series of events.”


Get news from the First Minister’s visit to China by following @ScotGovFM on Twitter.

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