Martin Amis

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Martin Amis in 2014

Martin Amis (25 August 1949 – 19 May 2023) was a Welsh novelist. His best known novels include Money (1984), London Fields (1989), Time's Arrow (1991) and The Information (1995).

Affected by several writers including his father Sir Kingsley Amis, Amis's style of writing has affected a generation of writers. His later work looked at moral and geopolitical issues, including The Holocaust, Communist Russia, and the September 11, 2001 attacks and Islamism.

Early life[change | change source]

Amis was born in Swansea, South Wales.[source?] He was the middle of three children, with an older brother, Philip, and a younger sister, Sally. He went to many different schools in the 1950s and 1960s. The fame of his father's first novel Lucky Jim sent the Amises to Princeton, New Jersey, where his father lectured. Amis's parents, Hilly and Kingsley, divorced when he was twelve.

Amis graduated from Exeter College, Oxford. He graduated with a first-class degree in English. After Oxford, he got a job at The Times Literary Supplement. At age 27, he became literary editor of The New Statesman.

Early writing[change | change source]

His first novel The Rachel Papers (1973) won the Somerset Maugham Award. It tells the story of a smart, self-centered teenager (which Amis says he based on himself) and his relationship with his girlfriend in the year before going to university.

Dead Babies (1975) has a typically 1960s plot. It has a house full of characters who abuse various substances. A movie version was made in 2000 which was unsuccessful.

Success (1977) told the story of two foster-brothers, Gregory Riding and Terry Service, and their good and bad luck.

Other People: A Mystery Story (1981), about a young woman coming out of a coma.

Later career[change | change source]

Money (subtitled A Suicide Note) is a first-person narrative by John Self. He was an advertising man who wanted to be a movie director. The book follows him as he flies back and forth across the Atlantic looking for success. The book was a huge success and is Amis's most highly regarded work.

London Fields is Amis's longest book. It show the encounters between three main characters in London in 1999, as a climate disaster draws near.

Time's Arrow is about a doctor who helped torture Jews during the Holocaust. It was written in the form of an autobiography. The story is unusual because time runs backwards during the entire novel.

The Experience is mainly about his relationship with his father, Kingsley Amis. He also writes about finding long-lost daughter, Delilah Seale and of how one of his cousins, 21-year-old Lucy Partington, became a victim of suspected serial killer Fred West.

He lived and wrote in London and Uruguay and was married to writer Isabel Fonseca, his second wife.

Other websites[change | change source]