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Obituary: Martin Amis

Martin Amis, former Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing has died at the age of 73.

Martin Amis, who has just died in Florida, worked as our first Professor of Creative Writing at The University of Manchester's Centre for New Writing from 2007-2011.

All of us who worked with Martin at the Centre for New Writing send our condolences to his family.

As Professor here, Martin set up new seminars, for writers, which looked at canonical texts, and set about introducing our students to the kind of work they might not have come across in their previous reading, the less well-known works of Nabokov and Bellow, the comic novel, the Russian novella - as well as works by Austen, Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Anthony Burgess and others.

Martin's position here drew interest from student writers (applications for the MA surged), but Martin's biggest contribution, possibly, was the series of events he ran at venues in the university and in downtown Manchester. They drew big crowds of readers for debates about literature's relation to subjects as various (or linked!) as religion, violence, Britishness, suicide, film, which started new discussions - about the role of contemporary writer, as well as showing the continuing appetite for talk about literature inside and outside the university.

Martin was, also, great, congenial company: he was devoted to writing and it was a pleasure for us to work alongside someone who took such pleasure from the life of books, and life itself.  We always looked forward to his return visits to the city, and are sure his books, a number of which were launched here, will continue to delight and instruct their readers.

Professor John McAuliffe and Dr Ian McGuire
Centre for New
Writing, The University of Manchester