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Martin also had an underground life in which neither I nor his literary friends played any part.
This mostly involved hanging out in rancid pubs and pool halls with Rob, his flatmate, doppelgänger and muse.
She's the party correspondent of WWD," which Martin now insists was meant to be funny, not snide.
And yet, although he grew very fond of some of my friends, he was contemptuous of the social and fashion aspect of my world, dismissing Manolo Blahnik as "that shoe person".
" A couple of weeks later Martin took me to Spain to meet his mother.
Being abroad was no problem for Martin, who had decided to finish his second novel in Spain later that year – it was just getting there.
Even a 40-minute flight from Paris required a numbing amount of brandy and Valium cocktails.
He's dead now, but he still haunts Martin's imagination, reappearing as one of the main characters in "The Pregnant Widow", the "blindingly autobiographical" novel due out early next year. Kingsley had won the same prize in 1955 for "Lucky Jim", but had been furious at its stipulation that the money be spent on foreign travel.
It was a deportation order, he complained to Philip Larkin, "forced to go abroad, bloody forced, mun".I'd never met an Oxford don, but Craig was as warm and unlofty as his wife Ann [Li] Pasternak Slater, an English fellow at St Anne's – both mentors and friends to this day.And as there was nothing at all daunting about the brilliantly funny, flirtatious Clive James (whose TV criticism for the Observer was an art form in itself), nor the louche, lovable polemicist Christopher Hitchens [the Hitch], who was Martin's New Statesman colleague, it didn't take long for me to fit in.Getting to the kitchen took you a couple of feet from the bed Rob then shared with his girlfriend Olivia, and if they went to the bathroom they had to come through Martin's room.