Affected by several writers including his father Sir Kingsley Amis, Amis's style of writing has affected a generation of writers. His recent work has 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. 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.
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.
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.