A Perthshire book festival will celebrate 100 years of one of the country’s best loved writers.
This weekend’s Bookmark in Blairgowrie will dedicate a full day of its packed programme to the life and work of Muriel Spark.
Journalist Alan Taylor will discuss his friendship with the Edinburgh-born novelist, best know for her highly influential book The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Mr Taylor, who details his friendship with Spark in his new memoir Appointment in Arezzo, will be joined on stage by Bookmark chairwoman Gail Wylie, past chair of the Muriel Spark Society, who will talk about the joys and challenges of bringing Spark’s work to the radio.
The festival will also host an exploration of Spark’s poetry with writer Stewart Conn.
The Bookmark Festival, now in its sixth year, will be visited by a series of top authors throughout the weekend.
Former MP Alan Johnson will open the celebration on Friday evening with a talk about his autobiographical book In My Life, which details the music that has sound-tracked his life.
He will be in conversation with local SNP MP Pete Wishart, a fellow music lover and former member of Runrig.
Also on the bill is Fife author Isla Dewar, who will talk about her latest novel It Takes One to Know One. She will tell Ms Wylie about lost ambitions and the tricky business of finding yourself when you discover — as her protagonist Charlie Gavin does — that you are not who you thought you were.
Saturday’s agenda will get under way with a visit from Glasgow crime writer Denise Mina, who will talk about her book The Last Drop, winner of the 2017 McIvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year.
She will be interviewed by leading criminal defence lawyer, Brian McConnachie QC.
Saturday’s line-up also features Allan Massie, who has published a fictional memoir of Walter Scott called the Ragged Lion, and Bill Jones who will talk about his new thriller Black Camp 21, which explores the history of the Cultybraggan POW camp near Comrie.
Author of Scotland: Her Story, Rosemary Goring, will explain why she wanted to redress the balance of traditional history books by offering the story of the nation from women’s perspectives.
And author and historian Elizabeth Crawford will talk about the art and artists of the women’s suffrage campaign.
All events will be held at Blairgowrie Community Campus, with full details on the festival’s website.
Local schoolchildren have been encouraged to get involved in this year’s event.
Blairgowrie High School has its own fringe festival on Friday afternoon.
The programme includes a variety of workshops and a chance to hear from author and explorer Jamie Andrew.
The school will be visited by, among others, performance poet Ash Dickinson; David Macphail, author of history book White Feather; award-winning comedian Ray Bradshaw and playwright Jules Horne.