Martin Amis, once the bad boy of Brit Lit, is miffed. Could there be a conspiracy?It turns out that as well as never having snagged the prestigious Man Booker Prize (indeed, he’s only been short-listed for it once) turns out he’s never had so much as an offer of royal recognition.
“All my friends, my contemporaries are either accepting, or turning down knighthoods and they’re all Commanders of the British Empire … and I have had f.. k all,” he told writer Stephen Romei in Written in the Blood an entertaining interview with The Weekend Australian. He tells Romei that because the Booker is judged by different people each year, “it’s difficult to think there’s a grudge.” But his exclusion from regal recognition so far is “a snub.”
“I think it’s for the same reason I don’t win prizes. It’s not just the Booker I don’t win; I don’t win any others either. Certainly not in England. It’s because some books bring about a consensus and others are what we call divisive, they polarize people, and mine are definitely the latter type. And of course I have said things about the royal family. In a novel I said the royal family was a wank … so I can imagine not being in the Queen’s glamour boy list.”
Amis, is on his way to Australia to take part in both the Perth Writers’ Festival and Adelaide Writers’ Week to discuss his recent novel Lionel Asbo: State of England, which takes a satirical look at the culture of celebrity. During the wide-ranging interview he talks about his relationship with his father, writer Kingsley Amis, friends like Clive James and the late Christopher Hitchens, being a grandfather and living in New York.
Photograph courtesy of News Limited.