Literary giant Martin Amis given knighthood before death at 73

He was given the honour for services to literature.
He was given the honour for services to literature.

Martin Amis, the British literary giant whose work was respected by contemporaries across the creative sphere and who died last month, has been knighted.

After publishing his first novel at the age of 24, he went on to write 13 more – as well as a memoir, two collections of stories and eight collections of non-fiction works.

The author was given a knighthood before his death from cancer at the age of 73 in May.

Amis was awarded the honour for services to literature and it is dated May 18, the day before his death, as honours cannot be given posthumously.

Martin Amis death
Martin Amis (Ian West/PA)

His best-known works included the novels Money and London Fields, and he was longlisted twice for the Booker Prize.

Born in Oxford in 1949, Amis was the son of the late Booker Prize-winning writer Sir Kingsley Amis, who also died aged 73 in 1995, and Hilary Ann Bardwell.

He was educated at schools in the UK, Spain and the US before later graduating from Exeter College at Oxford University where he read English.

In 1973, he published his first novel aged 24, The Rachel Papers, while working as an editorial assistant at the Times Literary Supplement.

He joined the New Statesman as their literary editor at age 27 and was appointed as a professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester in 2007, before stepping down in 2011.

In his work he explored current events and the contemporary world as well as key periods in history, notably the Holocaust, which he wrote about in novels such as Time’s Arrow and The Zone Of Interest.

Time’s Arrow was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while his 2003 novel Yellow Dog was also longlisted.

He was also awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his memoir Experience.

Amis’ death in late May 2023 prompted tributes from fellow authors, as well as other high profile figures including Rev Richard Coles, professor Brian Cox and former prime minister Boris Johnson.

His publisher Vintage Books described him as “stylist supreme” and said it had been a “profound privilege and pleasure” to have worked with him.

Amis is survived by his wife, writer Isabel Fonseca, and his children Louis, Jacob, Fernanda, Clio and Delilah.