Scottish author Isla Dewar dies following heart attack

The writer, known for her wry humour, passed away on June 20.

Scottish author Isla Dewar dies following heart attack Birlinn

Scottish novelist Isla Dewar has died aged 71 following a heart attack, it has been announced.

The author of 17 books, lived with her husband of more than 50 years, Bob Dewar, an artist, illustrator and cartoonist.

She passed away on Sunday, June 20, and was mum to two sons Adam and Nick, who died in Los Angeles in 2013 aged 37. She was a much-loved grandmother to Ida and Sonny.

She lived with her husband in the East Neuk of Fife, but Mrs Dewar was born and raised in Edinburgh. She attended Leith Academy, however, she said she “learned to write at the school of suburban bedroom dreamers and deluded teens who longed to become poets. I didn’t succeed with the poetry thing”.

Writer Isla Dewar passed away on June 20 following a heart attack.Birlinn

She worked as a journalist on DC Thomson’s teenage magazines and newspapers before becoming a freelancer and then turning to fiction.

Her second novel, Women Talking Dirty, published in 1996, was turned into a film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Gina McKee three years later with Mrs Dewar writing the screenplay.

In 2013, her son Nick lost his battle with cancer. Speaking to the Sunday Post about her latest novel, A Day Like Any Other, last year, she said: “I don’t talk about it a great deal for obvious reasons, not that I don’t grieve. But when you realise you won’t ever get over it, you can heal. It is a hard thing to know that life goes on, but it does. What surprised me was that I started writing quite light-hearted books.”

Mrs Dewar’s publisher, Birlinn, announced her death on Monday, June 28. The independent publishing house based in Edinburgh said: “She had pheasants outside her kitchen window and described herself as a writer and daydreamer.

“It was her combination of wit and warmth, her understanding of big dreams and her appreciation of simple pleasures that won her legions of devoted readers.”

Alison Rae, senior editor at Polygon said: “Everyone at Birlinn was saddened to hear of Isla Dewar’s recent passing.

“She was a force of nature, a joy to work with and possessed of a daft sense of humour which endeared her to all. A woman’s woman, she will be sorely missed.”

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