Kevin Jackson

The Art of Dying Well

Until Further Notice, I Am Alive


Granta Books 145pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Great Works: 50 Paintings Explained


Frances Lincoln 216pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

In August 2008, the art critic Tom Lubbock was told by his doctors that they had discovered a malignant tumour in his brain, and that he had only a short time to live. Five years was the optimistic sum; a few months was probably a more realistic prediction. Thanks partly to the magnificent care he received from the NHS, and partly (one likes to think) to his inner resources and the heartening love of his family and many friends, Tom lived on until January 2011 – a couple of weeks after his fifty-third birthday. As a writer by vocation and need as well as by trade, Tom kept a diary of his experiences, detailing his treatment, his feelings about leaving behind his wife, Marion, and their small son, Eugene, and the strange, brutal fact of confronting death at much too young an age.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,