December 6, 2019

Clive James dies at 80; a last poetry book will come next year

By Benedicte Page

Picador has announced “with great sadness” news of the death of Clive James, who passed away peacefully at home on Sunday 24th November after a long illness, aged 80.

James was a Picador author for 40 years and was the longest continuously published author on the list, with some 40 titles in all. The first Picador James title was Unreliable Memoirs; it was an immediate bestseller and went on to sell over a million copies, according to Pan Macmillan, and remained with the imprint ever since.

In a statement, Picador said: “Clive James was ‘a brilliant bunch of guys’ as the New Yorker said: critic, essayist, star of television and radio, memoirist, novelist and – especially in his final decade – poet. Poetry was the art form that mattered most to James. During his final decade, he published several bestselling books of verse, including Sentenced to Life and his translation of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, both of which were critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic.

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