Iain Banks has 'months to live'

Acclaimed author Iain Banks has revealed that he has only months to live after suffering from terminal cancer.

Banks' debut novel 'in top 100 books of 20th Century'

Author Iain Banks, who revealed today he only has "months to live" after being diagnosed with gall bladder cancer, released his first novel The Wasp Factory in 1984.

The Wasp Factory was voted one of the best books of the 20th Century. Credit: Little, Brown Book Group

A poll conducted in 1997 looking at the 20th Century's top 100 books placed Banks' debut novel in 32nd place above Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

The Scottish writer is also famous for his books The Crow Road (1992) - which was later adapted for television - Complicity (1993) and the Culture series - a series of short fiction novels.

In a personal statement released on his website today, the 59-year-old said his latest novel, The Quarry, looks likely to be his last.

Read: Full statement - Iain Banks admits he only has months to live.

Stephen Fry 'devastated' by news of Banks' cancer

Actor Stephen Fry has tweeted his sadness after hearing the news that author Iain Banks has gall bladder cancer and only has "several months" left to live.

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So devastated by tje sad sad news about Iain Bank’s - he and Iain M. Bank, his sci-fi alter ego, two of my favourite living writers.

Read: Author Iain Banks admits he only 'has months to live'

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Author Iain Banks reveals he has gall bladder cancer

Author Iain Banks has revealed he has gall bladder cancer and has just "several months" to live.

He said: "I have cancer. 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."

A statement on his official website added:

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. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

As a result, I've withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I've asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry - but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we'll be married and on a short honeymoon.

We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.

There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we're balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.

Lastly, I'd like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved - and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed - has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We're all just sorry the outcome hasn't been more cheerful.

Author Iain Banks admits he only 'has months to live'

Author Iain Banks pictured at the British Book Awards in 2004.
Author Iain Banks pictured at the British Book Awards in 2004. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Acclaimed author Iain Banks has revealed that he has only months to live after suffering from terminal cancer.

The 59-year-old writer posted a personal statement on his website today and admitted the novel he is currently working on, The Quarry, would likely be his last.

He wrote: "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. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last."