John Spurling, born in Kenya to English parents, is a playwright, novelist and critic. Since his first play MacRune's Guevara was performed by National Theatre Company in 1969, he has 27 plays produced on stage, television and radio. His first two novels, The Ragged End and After Zenda were published in 1989 and 1995 respectively. In 2015, he was awarded the sixth Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for his novel set in imperial China, The Ten Thousand Things. He has written critical books on Samuel Beckett's plays and Graham Greene's novels and was the New Statesman's art critic from 1976 to 1988.