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Author of 'Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' Dies

British novelist Muriel Spark has died at the age of 88 in Italy.

The mayor of the Tuscan village where she had lived for nearly 30 years says Spark died earlier this week at a hospital in Florence.

Spark was born in 1918 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was educated in the local public schools. The experience formed the basis for her most famous work, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which was published in 1961 and later adapted into a film. She wrote more than 20 books of fiction, poetry and literary criticism.

Before her literary career, Spark worked for the British Foreign Office during World War II.

Funeral services will be held Saturday in her adopted hometown.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.