Well-known Scottish writer Iain Banks died on Sunday, barely two months after revealing that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the gall bladder and had only a few months to live.
Shortly after being told by doctors that it was “unlikely” he would live “beyond a year,” the 59-year-old writer asked his long-term partner Adele to marry him, or, as he put it in a poignant statement, “I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry — but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we’ll be married and on a short honeymoon.”
Banks also requested his publishers to bring forward the publication of his last novel, The Quarry, and they obliged.
“Just three weeks ago, he was presented with finished copies and enjoyed celebration parties with old friends and fans across the publishing world,” the publishers Little, Brown said, describing him as “one of the country’s best-loved novelists” and “an irreplaceable part of the literary world.”
The book, to be released next month, is said to detail the physical and emotional strain of cancer.
“It describes the final weeks of the life of a man in his 40s who has terminal cancer,” the BBC said.
Best-known for his novels, The Wasp Factory, The Crow Road and Complicity, Banks also wrote science fiction under the name Iain M. Banks.
The Wasp Factory, his debut novel published in 1984, was rated as one of the best 100 books of the 20th Century in a 1997 poll.
In a recent post on his website, Banksophilia, he wrote that he was greatly moved by the public support.
“Still knocked out by the love and the depth of feeling coming from so many people; thank you, all of you.”