Sunday, 22 November 2009

Martin Amis: the sexual revolution killed my sister Sally

The author's younger sister died in 2000, aged 46, after suffering for years from alcoholism and depression.

Amis said she had been crushed by the pressures he felt women had been subjected to ever since the idea of sex before marriage became the norm.

Society was still dealing with the fallout, he said, but women usually fared worse than men.

He said: "It's astonishingly difficult to find a decent deal between men and women and we haven't found it yet."

While women enjoyed more freedom than they did before 1970, he said, they were also more liable to suffer from the pressures the revolution exerted on them.

Sally could not cope with the sexual liberation it granted her, said Amis, 60.

"She was pathologically promiscuous," he told the Richmond Book Now Festival.

"She really had the mental age of 12 or 13 and I think she was terrified. I think what she was doing was seeking protection from men, but it went the other way, she was often beaten up, abused and she simply used herself up."

In the 1980s she married a wine merchant twice her age but the union lasted only six months. She had a baby daughter from another relationship Catherine, whom she gave up for adoption. In 1994 she suffered a stroke and the following year their father Kingsley Amis died, from which she never recovered.

She died of an unspecified infection in November 2000 after five days in intensive care. Read more
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