Sam Leith Sam Leith

Martin Amis: 1949-2023

(Photo by Sophie Bassouls/Sygma via Getty Images)

Over the next few days, people will be reaching for certain set phrases about Martin Amis. That he was ‘era-defining’ (though he defined more than one era); that he was ‘genre-defying’ (he defied more than one genre); that he was an ‘enfant terrible’ (it will be wryly noted that he remained an enfant terrible, somehow, into his eighth decade). It’s poignant,

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