Renowned and influential British writer Martin Amis has died aged 73 at his home in Lake Worth, Florida, the Booker Prizes announced Saturday, May 20. Amis was “one of the most acclaimed and discussed writers of the past 50 years and the author of 14 novels,” said the website of Booker Prizes, the leading literary awards for fiction in the United Kingdom.
His wife Isabel Fonseca told media that the author of searing and insightful works such as “Money: A Suicide Note,” “London Fields” and “Time’s Arrow” passed away on Friday after a bout with esophageal cancer.
Amis, the son of renowned comic novelist Kingsley Amis, equaled and even surpassed his father in fame with novels filled with savage humor. In 2008, the Times of London named the younger Friends one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
He rose to literary celebrity amid the hip 1980s British fiction boom that included fellow novelists Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. Amis graduated from Oxford University in 1971 with a degree in English and worked as an editor before publishing his first novel, “The Rachel Papers,” in 1973.
It was with “Money,” published in 1984 with a comic take on consumerism, that Amis burst more broadly onto the literary scene. In addition to his novels, Amis published two collections of stories and eight works of nonfiction.
In recent decades, Amis became a public intellectual, frequently appearing on television, sometimes alongside his long-time friend Christopher Hitchens, a British-American writer and renowned atheist who died in 2011. Amis was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991 and long- listed in 2003, the website noted.
Publisher Vintage Books said it was “devastated” by the death of Friends. “He leaves a towering legacy and an indelible mark on the British cultural landscape, and will be missed enormously,” Vintage said on its Twitter account.