Who is Polly Samson?

Polly Samson is a multi-talented woman who has achieved success in various fields of writing, such as journalism, fiction, and songwriting. She is also the wife of David Gilmour, the guitarist and singer of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd.

David Gilmour & Polly Samson - Floydology Store
David Gilmour & Polly Samson

Early Life of Polly Samson

Polly Samson was born in London in 1962 to a diverse and interesting family. Her father, Lance Samson, was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who became a newspaper editor and diplomatic correspondent. Her mother, Esther Cheo Ying, was a Chinese writer who served as a Major in Mao Zedong’s Red Army and wrote a memoir about her experiences. Polly had a troubled childhood and moved to Cornwall and then Devon with her family. She started writing stories and poems from an early age and won a Blue Peter badge for a story about a lonely badger.

At 18, she moved back to London and got a job in publishing at her grandmother’s insistence. She quickly rose to the position of a board member of Jonathan Cape, a prestigious publishing house. She also met the writer Heathcote Williams, with whom she had a son, Charlie. They moved to Cornwall but later separated. In 1993, she met David Gilmour at a party and they fell in love. They married in 1994 and had three more children: Joe, Gabriel, and Romany. Gilmour also adopted Charlie as his own son.

Samson’s Works

Polly Samson is an acclaimed author of novels and short stories. Her first collection of stories, Lying in Bed, was published by Virago in 1999 and was praised by critics. Her first novel, Out of the Picture, was published by Virago in 2000 and was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club first novel award. Her second collection of stories, Perfect Lives, was published by Virago in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. Her second novel, The Kindness, was published by Bloomsbury in 2015 and received rave reviews. Her latest novel, A Theatre for Dreamers, was published by Bloomsbury in 2020 and reached number 2 in The Sunday Times bestsellers list. It is set in the Greek island of Hydra in the 1960s and features the bohemian community of artists and writers that included Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen.

Collaborations with Gilmour

Polly Samson is also a successful lyricist who has co-written many songs with David Gilmour for his solo albums and for Pink Floyd. She is credited as a co-writer on seven tracks on Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell (1994), which topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. She also wrote lyrics for Gilmour’s On an Island (2006), which also reached number one in the UK and Europe. She contributed lyrics to “Louder than Words”, the only track with vocals on Pink Floyd’s The Endless River (2014), which was based on unreleased material from The Division Bell sessions. She also collaborated with Gilmour on his latest album, Rattle That Lock (2015), which was inspired by John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost.

Polly Samson is a remarkable woman who has shown her talent and versatility in different genres of writing. She is also a devoted wife and mother who has supported David Gilmour throughout his musical career. She is an inspiration to many aspiring writers and music lovers around the world.

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