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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.
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.
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.
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:
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."