Muriel Spark died thursday, at age 88.
Wikipedia notes that she worked for British intelligence during WWII, and that her 1st novel wasn't published until she was 39:
The Comforters[...] featured a character who knew she was in a novel; and in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie she told her characters' stories from the past and the future simultaneously. Kermode refers to the recurrent theme in her novels of of "the central question, why evil exists in a world made by a good God".
book cover from ne.jp/asahi.
Muriel Spark pics via BBC.