British writer Martin Amis dies aged 73

LONDON (AFP): Renowned and influential British writer Martin Amis has died aged 73 at his home in Lake Worth, Florida, the Booker Prizes said Saturday.

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” died on Friday after a bout with esophageal cancer.

His death was announced on the same day as the Cannes festival showing of a film based on his 2014 book “The Zone of Interest”.

Set in Auschwitz, the novel tells the story of a Nazi officer who fell in love with the wife of the extermination camp commander.

Amis, the son of renowned comic novelist Kingsley Amis, equaled and even surpassed his father in fame with novels filled with savage humor.

“The novel is an incredibly intimate portrait of a writer,” the younger Amis once told the BBC, reflecting on his career.

“Although I don’t write autobiography, I am everywhere in my books.”

In 2008, the Times of London named him one of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.

Born in 1949 in Wales, Amis 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.

His book on the September 11, 2001 attacks, titled “The Second Plane,” includes articles, short stories and essays.

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.

He was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991 and long-listed in 2003, the website noted.

The 1990s marked the peak of his literary career, even though he was accused of misogyny and, later, Islamophobia — accusations he firmly rejected.

Publisher Vintage Books said it was “devastated” by the death of Amis.

“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.