The Last Holiday

A Memoir

Gil Scott-Heron

The Last Holiday (Paperback ISBN 9781786890252) cover artwork

Available as Paperback, eBook

‘Leave it to Scott-Heron to save some of his best for last … He’s a real writer, a word man, and [The Last Holiday] is as wriggling and vital in its way as Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Volume One’ New York Times

Raised by his grandmother in Tennessee, Gil Scott-Heron’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most uncompromising and influential songwriters of his generation is a remarkable one. In this, his heartfelt, beautifully written and posthumously published memoir, we are given bright insights into the music industry, New York, the civil-rights movement, modern America, governmental hypocrisy, Stevie Wonder and our wider place in the world. It is also a fitting testament to the generous brilliance of Gil Scott-Heron and to the Spirits that guided him.


“A marvellous documentary of black America and life lived in the raw”
spectator

See more reviews

“Engaging and immensely human … Much like his poetry, Scott-Heron’s style is spare and effective, offering up jagged observations on fame, friendship and political and racial injustice.”
independent On Sunday

“This memoir reads a bit like Langston Hughes filtered through the scratchy and electrified sensibilities of John Lee Hooker, Dick Gregory and Spike Lee … about his own music, he could not be more simple or elegant. “I was trying to get people who listened to me,” he writes, “to realise that they were not alone.”“
Dwight Garner
new York Times

“One of the great pioneers of late-twentieth-century music.”
independent

“Scott-Heron is such a fine writer … As readers and fans alike, we are left to mourn the passing of surely, the least likely pop star ever, one with a truly brilliant mind.”
Rob Fitzpatrick
sunday Times


Gil Scott-Heron

In a musical career spanning five decades, from Small Talk at 125th and Lenox to I’m New Here, Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011) released twenty albums and many seminal singles including ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,’ ‘Home Is Where the Hatred Is,’ ‘Winter in America,’ ‘B Movie,’ ‘Johan­nesburg,’ and ‘Lady Day and John Coltrane.’ He was also the author of three previous books: two novels, The Vulture and The Nigger Factory and Now and Then: The Poems of Gil Scott- Heron.


Canongate’s own Jamie Byng interview’s Gil Scott-Heron in 2010. This year would have marked Gil’s 68th birthday. His posthumously published, indelible memoir The Last Holiday is now a Canon.


In These Collections