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.
Louise Welsh was born in London in 1965. She studied History at Glasgow University, and after graduation established and worked at a second-hand bookshop for several years before publishing her first novel, The Cutting Room (2002). She is the author of short stories, psychological thrillers and plays, and edits volumes of prose and poetry, as well as contributing to journals and anthologies. She lives in Glasgow.