Gillon Aitken

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Gillon Reid Aitken (29 March 1938 – 28 October 2016) was an English literary agent and founder of the agency Aitken Alexander Associates.[1]

He was born in Calcutta and spent his early years in Darjeeling, before attending boarding school in the UK. Skipping university, he studied Russian at the Joint Services School for Linguists in London, and then worked in Berlin for British intelligence.

Moving on to publishing, he worked at Chapman & Hall for a number of years and then ran the publishing house of Hamish Hamilton. In the mid-1970s, he embarked on a new career as a literary agent. Among his many famous clients were the Nobel Prize winner VS Naipaul and the Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie.

As a literary translator, Aitken translated two books of short stories by Pushkin, as well as Alexander Solzhenitsyn's gulag classic One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

He died in October 2016.


  1. ^ "Gillon Aitken obituary | Books | The Guardian". Retrieved 2016-11-18.