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 Holidayis now a Canon.
“He could see the furniture, the curtain across the bed, his mother and father, the decorations and through it all, vaguely, the buildings, the night. And hung there, shimmering, in that room he could never enter, the tinsel garland that would never tarnish.”
“I've always believed in standing up for what I think is right. I've always believed in speaking up when other voices are silent. I've always believed in refusing to be cowed by those who shout over you, who want you to go away, who think that just by dragging you through the mud, you will break.”
“You are meant to be frightened when you see a ghost but I was not frightened because it felt completely normal which is weird because I had never seen a ghost before. He was just standing there behind the smoke of Big Vics cigar and he was looking at me and not scared of my eyes like everyone else was.”
“The Boy's eyes suddenly focused, like he'd just seen McCoy for the first time. He spun his arm round towards him and lined up a shot, pistol aimed square at his head. McCoy froze as the boy adjusted his aim and squeezed the trigger.”
Heather, the Totality: the debut novel from Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men. Out 7 November, but you can pre-order it now. And we’d encourage you to. So would Philip Pullman (“Superb… this novel is something special”), Maggie O’Farrell (“Chilling and poised, I loved it”), James Ellroy (“A scorcher… Read this in one gasping breath”) and Michael Chabon (“A tour de force of control, tone and razor-slash insight… I could not put it down”).
“Dogs like to talk. We are talking all the time, non-stop. To each other, to humans, to ourselves. Talk, talk, talk . . . During every sniff, every bark, every crotch nuzzle, every spray of a lamppost, we are speaking our minds. So if you want the truth, ask the dog”