Gordon Burn (Gordon Burn)

Gordon Burn

Gordon Burn (16 January 1948 – 17 July 2009) was an English writer born in Newcastle upon Tyne and the author of four novels and several works of non-fiction. Burn’s novels deal with issues of modern fame and faded celebrity as lived through the media spotlight. His novel Alma Cogan (1991), which imagined the future life of the British singer Alma Cogan had she not died in 1966, won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel. His other novels, Fullalove and The North of England Home Service, appeared in 1995 and 2003, respectively. His non-fiction deals primarily with sport and true crime. His first book, Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son, was a study of Peter Sutcliffe, ‘the Yorkshire Ripper,’ and his 1998 book, Happy Like Murderers: The Story of Fred and Rosemary West, dealt in similar detail with two of Britain’s most notorious serial killers. Gordon Burn’s interest in such infamous villains extended to his fiction, with Myra Hindley, one of the ‘Moors murderers’, featuring prominently in the novel Alma Cogan. His sport-based books are Pocket Money: Inside the World of Snooker (1986) and Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion (2006), which deals with the twin stories of Manchester United footballers Duncan Edwards and George Best, and the “trajectory of two careers unmoored in wildly different ways.” He also wrote a book with British artist Damien Hirst, On the Way to Work, a collection of interviews from various dates between 1992-2001. He contributed to The Guardian regularly, usually writing about contemporary art. Gordon Burn died of bowel cancer in 2009, aged 61.


  • January, 16, 1948
  • United Kingdom
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, England


  • July, 07, 2009
  • England

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