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Martin Amis: Celebrated British novelist dies aged 73

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Martin Amis, one of the most famous British novelists of his generation, has died at the age of 73.

The New York Times quoted his wife, author Isabel Fonseca, as saying he died of esophageal cancer at his home in Florida.

Amis is best known for the 1984 novel Money and the 1989 novel London Fields.

He has authored 14 novels and several non-fiction books and is widely considered one of the most influential authors of his time.

He was born in Oxford in 1949, the son of novelist and poet Sir Kingsley Amis.

The young Amis followed in his father’s footsteps with his first novel, The Rachel Papers.

Published in 1973 while working for The Times Literary Supplement, it won the Somerset Maugham Award for its romantic drama about a pre-college teenage boy in London.

Amis went on to write a string of notable works and was a contemporary of such notable authors as James Fenton, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan.

A close relationship with journalist Christopher Hitchens, who died of esophageal cancer in 2011, is well documented.

They are part of a colorful group that has reinvigorated British literature and are credited with inspiring a younger generation of writers.

Rushdie paid tribute to Amis, telling The New Yorker: “He used to say that all he wanted to do was leave the bookshelf behind and be able to say, ‘From here to here is me.'”

“His voice is quiet now. His friends will miss him a lot. But we have a shelf.”

Another contemporary, Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, told the BBC: “He was a standard-bearer for my generation of novelists and a source of inspiration for me personally.

“Despite his biting satire, the masterful pomp of prose, there was always something tender that never fared from the surface, a yearning for love and connection. will overcome and remain.”

literary rock star

Witty, provocative, and linguistically bold, he was a celebrity in his prime. Martin Amis is often described as the Mick Jagger of the literary world (and Carrie Bradshaw was seen reading his novel in Sex in the City).

He was one of the key figures in the first period-defining list of British novelists under 40, chosen by Granta in 1983 and every decade since.

Ami had by then already established herself as the formidable child of British literature.

In 1973, his first semi-autobiographical novel, Rachel Papers, catapulted him into the literary world. The novel was linguistically original, understanding the frustration of certain clever (sexual) youth.

His second novel, Dead Babies, published in 1975, described a weekend debauchery and showcased his extraordinary, tearing use of language.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Amis were frequently quoted and often photographed, not always far from sight. Literary rock star.

Whether his novel is a satire on the glorious and empty Thatcherist excesses of the 1980s “Money Field” and “London Fields,” it is written backwards in “Times Arrow,” the life of a German doctor at Auschwitz. Even the holocaust quest that was deceived summed up the times.

Amis had a voice that was truly recognizable. He was a British writer who bridged the gap between the somewhat cozier style of the British novel that preceded it and the sprawling American novel.

The reaction to his death has cemented his status as one of the great English novelists of his time.

Amis’ work was often characterized by dark and comic subject matter and satire.

He also published two short story collections, six non-fiction books and a memoir, Experience, in 2000.

He was known as a public intellectual and an often controversial commentator on current affairs and politics.

Money became his most acclaimed work and is often cited as the defining novel of the 1980s.

Set in New York and London, the book follows an advertising director as he tries to make his first feature film, with Amis himself serving as a writer on Saturn 3, the widely acclaimed sci-fi movie starring Kirk. based on the period in which it was Douglas.

He returned to the subject of the Holocaust throughout his career in novels such as Times Arrow and Zone of Interest.

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image caption,

Along with Salman Rushdie (left) and others, Amis was one of Britain’s most influential literary figures in the 1980s.

Amis moved to the US from London in 2012 and her latest novel, Inside Story, was published in 2020.

A friend, literary critic Zachary Rieder, said Amis was “charming and very generous” but was “very concerned about his success.”

“His life was full of invitations, many of which he turned down, but not all of them with the kindness to show his friends. He was not only mean to those he liked.” I think ‘I did my best,’ Mr Rieder told the BBC.

Michal Shavitt, Amis UK editor of Vintage Books, said, “It’s hard to imagine a world without Martin Amis. He was a writer who didn’t know about it, and he was a really wonderful writer.” Man.

“He has been a very important and formative figure to many readers and writers over the last half-century.”

Penguin Books said in a statement: “We are devastated by the passing of author and friend Martin Amis. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones, especially his children and wife Isobel.”

“He left a towering legacy and an indelible mark on Britain’s cultural landscape and will be greatly missed.”

“Sad to hear of the passing of Martin Amis, one of the most acclaimed and talked about novelists of the last 50 years. Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” the Booker Prize Twitter account said. bottom.

The Arrow of Time was a finalist for the Booker Prize, and the 2003 novel Yellow Dog was longlisted.

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image caption,

Amis at his home in London, 1987: Over the course of 50 years, he wrote 14 novels, memoirs and several works of non-fiction.

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