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NewsScottish NewsDying Iain Banks writes fictional book about his terminal illness

Dying Iain Banks writes fictional book about his terminal illness

DYING Scots author Iain Banks has announced that his final book will detail the physical and emotional strain of cancer – the disease which has left him with just months to live.

The 59-year-old shocked fans earlier this year when he announced on his website that he had terminal cancer.

Since the announcement, Banks has posted a series of blogs about his disease and his life in general.

Pic: Tim Duncan
Pic: Tim Duncan

His final book, The Quarry, describes the last few weeks in the life of Guy, a man who is terminally ill with the cancer.

The book details the emotional and physical strain that cancer has on its sufferers.

Guy is cared for by his 18-year-old son, who views the disease as “personalised” and as a “betrayal.”

Banks began writing his final novel after he was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer in March.

A month after he was diagnosed Banks went public and told fans he was unlikely to live more than a year.

While The Quarry is fiction, it is also partly autobiographical and will offer readers a further insight into the disease which has gripped its author.

The book includes graphic and detailed descriptions of Guy’s cancer, which wreaks havoc on his body.

A similarity between Banks, and his protagonist is their distaste for alternative treatments.

In the novel, Guy tells one friend who suggests such options: “You can keep that bollocks.”

More subtly, Banks had recently thanks fans who had offered “medical advice – especially those with links to tests and trials, and published papers.”

Banks is known for his series of popular books including The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road.

Earlier this year, the author took to his website to inform fans of his terminal illness.

He wrote: “It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

“The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late-stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year.”

The author also wrote that he had asked his partner Adele Hartley “if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow.”

Banks has also used his website to thank fans for their support, which made him feel “treasured” and “loved,.”

“I feel treasured, I feel loved, I feel I’ve done more than just pursue the craft I adore and make a living from it, and more than just fulfil the only real ambition I’ve ever had – of becoming a professional writer.

“I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed.”

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