We regret the passing of celebrated author Martin Amis who was universally recognised as one
of the great British novelists of his age: no mean feat alongside contemporaries like Salman
Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Kazio Ishiguro. Since his first novel in 1973 his writing has been
consistently acclaimed by readers and critics alike. He never lost relevance or acuity, and his
trademark acerbic wit and satire attracted generations of loyal readers.
We were privileged to meet and know Martin Amis who participated twice in the Tata Literature
Live! The Mumbai Litfest. He came in person in 2016, and was part of our first virtual avatar
held online in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Both times he engaged with us and the
Festival with charm, energy and diligence.
Participating in three memorable sessions to packed and enthralled audiences in 2016, Martin
Amis segued effortlessly across the disparate themes under discussion. He spoke eloquently on
the “Crisis and identity of the western writer” and thoughtfully on the more off beat topic of
“Should songwriters be considered poets?” at the NCPA, where he also delivered a lacerating
analysis of American and British politics! At the Festival’s parallel venue at the iconic Prithvi
Theatre his words evoked rich imagery while considering “The city as character”.
In 2020 he was in conversation about his life and work with our late Founder-Director Anil
Dharker. It was a delightful session, replete with anecdotes and insights. It is available to view here.
Martin Amis in person has left this world, but he will remain forever with lovers of reading and
literature through the legacy of his vivid and powerful body of work . Author of 14 novels, a
memoir and several works of non-fiction, he has more than fulfilled his reported wish to “leave
behind a shelf of books” – a shelf for current readers to return to, and for future readers to