W&N pays tribute to A A Gill: 'one of the finest writers of our time'

W&N pays tribute to A A Gill: 'one of the finest writers of our time'

Weidenfeld & Nicolson has paid tribute to journalist and critic A A Gill as "one of the finest writers of our time", following his death on Saturday (10th December).

Gill, born in Edinburgh, died aged 62, just weeks after revealing his cancer diagnosis in his Sunday Times newspaper column.

His memoir Pour Me a Life (W&N), which published in November 2015, was shortlisted for 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. He published his travel writings in several books A A Gill is AwayPrevious Convictions and A.A. Gill is Further Away; as well as a book of essays about the English, The Angry Island, and about the US and its citizens, The Golden Door. He also wrote two novels, Sap Rising and Starcrossed, both published by Black Swan.

Lines in the Sand, a collection of his articles from over the past five years, is scheduled to publish with W&N in February.

Alan Samson, Gill's publisher at W&N, said: "Only A A Gill himself could find the words to do himself justice. He was (of course) one of the finest writers of our time - witty, insightful, wide-ranging in his interests, profoundly curious, and as anyone who has read his great articles on the migration tragedy will recognise, one with a fiercely moral compass too. There is a singularity and a genius in his writing.

"Weidenfeld was fortunate enough to publish seven books of Adrian Gill's in the past 12 years - four collections of his best pieces, mainly from the Sunday Times, and three original works, culminating in his breathtakingly candid memoir Pour Me. I am pleased to add that a collection of his finest articles of the past five years, Lines in the Sand, will be published in February.

"But beyond that, by which I mean above that, Adrian was a wise, kind and brilliant companion, a one-person Algonquin Club that his wonderful editor Celia Hayley and I are eternally grateful to have been members of for the past dozen years. There was famously vitriol in his pen, but Adrian was also a generous friend, and one of the most original minds I have encountered. And to end at the beginning. Words cannot express the loss I feel that I won't again be reading a new A A Gill piece, or picking up the phone to hear his voice - your heart always lifted at this point - but I am sure Adrian would find the words. He always did."

Gill wrote a farewell article for the Sunday Times Magazine, published this weekend, in which he spoke about coming to terms with his diagnosis and about the discovery of a new drug not available on the NHS. 

Sunday Times' editor Martin Ivens described Gill as “a giant among journalists”. He said in a memo to staff confirming Gill's passing: “It is with profound sadness that I must tell you that our much-loved colleague Adrian Gill died this morning. Adrian was stoical about his illness, but the suddenness of his death has shocked us all. 

“Characteristically, he has had the last word, writing an outstanding article about coming to terms with his cancer in tomorrow’s Sunday Times Magazine

“He was the heart and soul of the paper. His wit was incomparable, his writing was dazzling and fearless, his intelligence was matched by compassion. Adrian was a giant among journalists. He was also our friend. We will miss him. I know you will want to join me in sending condolences to Nicola Formby and his children.”