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Cult classic author Iain Banks loses cancer fight


Iain Banks. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Iain Banks. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Iain Banks. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

TRIBUTES have been paid to best-selling author Iain Banks who has died aged 59.

Banks, best known for his cult novel The Wasp Factory, announced in April that he had been diagnosed with gall bladder cancer and had just months to live.

A statement from his publisher Little, Brown said: "Banks has been one of the country's best loved novelists for both his mainstream and science fiction books since the publication of his first novel, The Wasp Factory.

"Just three weeks ago he was presented with finished copies of his last novel, The Quarry, and enjoyed celebration parties with friends and fans across the publishing world.

"Iain Banks' ability to combine the most fertile of imaginations with his own highly distinctive brand of gothic humour made him unique. He is an irreplaceable part of the literary world."

A message on the website set up to provide updates to family, friends and fans, quoted his wife Adele saying: "Iain died in the early hours this morning. His death was calm and without pain."

Following his diagnosis, Banks withdrew from all planned public engagements and married his long-term partner. He announced in a statement on April 3 that his latest novel, The Quarry, would be his last.

Banks published his first novel The Wasp Factory in 1984 and his debut sci-fi title, Consider Phlebas, came three years later.

His novel The Crow Road, which opens with the memorable line "It was the day my grandmother exploded", was adapted for a popular television series in 1996.

The announcement of his illness was laced with typical dark humour, with the author stating he was "officially Very Poorly" and he had asked Adele to do him the honour of "becoming my widow".