It seems like only yesterday the sad news came that the writer Iain Banks had asked his girlfriend to be his widow. Hearing Ian Rankin talking about how they had been planning for him to talk and celebrate his work at the Edinburgh Festival this August, is heart breaking. I hope they find a way to honour him still. I am sure every pub in the city will be full, from Charlotte Square to Meadowbank, with fans raising a glass to a man gone too soon.
I am unsure what to say. He seemed a writer as I wish I could be: quiet, passionate, concerned with the words, the stories and unconcerned with the fame. As such I know little about him. I know he was as likely to have a drink with a fan as he was to sign an autograph, that he never seemed to see being a writer as being above anyone. I feel he deserves more than a quote from the no.1 choice for funeral dirges, but at the very least I must say I would have liked to have met him; Scot to scot, writer to writer, but mostly as one human to another.
His books have been on my must read list for too long now, but that is no matter. His legacy I am sure will outlast us both; I have plenty of time. I wish I could say the same for the man; a man who when asked what his favourite books were, answered, ‘my own. I write the books I want to read.’ That is a man I would have liked to know.