English playwright and diarist Simon Gray has died aged 71.
The author penned more than 30 plays for stage and TV, including Butley, Quartermaine's Terms, Melon and The Common Pursuit, as well as five novels.
Gray recently gained in notoriety for his series of witty memoirs, The Smoking Diaries and The Last Cigarette.
I can't speak about his plays, but Gray's three volumes of diaries (The Smoking Diaries, The Year of the Jouncer, and The Last Cigarette) are modern masterpieces in the genre: moving and, at the same time, laugh-out-loud funny. Gray developed a unique voice in his diaries. It's sad to think there will be no more.
Postscript: Oh, according to the Guardian's obituary, there will soon be a final volume about the last few months of Gray's life.