Michael Cox, R.I.P.
Michael Cox, author of the novels THE MEANING OF NIGHT and THE GLASS OF TIME, a biography of M.R. James and an editor of several Oxford anthologies of short fiction, died Tuesday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 60 years old. Norton Executive editor Jill Bialosky, Cox’s American editor, said in a short statement: “We are deeply
saddened by the loss of Michael Cox, whose enthralling, intricate
Victorian epics we have been thrilled to publish. Michael was an
author of extraordinary sensitivity and literary panache, whose novels
are impeccably researched and undeniably entertaining. Most of all, we
will miss him as a man of warmth, integrity, and incredible courage in
the battle against a terrible illness.”
Cox's cancer battle, which also resulted in the eventual loss of his vision, was what spurred him to finally finish THE MEANING OF NIGHT after a 30-year-gestation – and ultimately made some publishing history for the largest advance then given out to a UK author. "I’ve learnt a lot of hard lessons," Cox told the Times of London in 2006 upon his debut novel's release. "The best piece of advice is to write every
day. There is no better discipline. Not to worry whether the words are good
or bad but just to get them down. If they’re bad words you can always fix
them: if they’re good they can stay. Regularity produces miracles. It’s a
wonderful feeling to know that a novel is being created day by day." Cox is survived by his wife, Dizzy; a daughter, Emily; two step-children, Miranda and Barnaby; and three grandchildren.