Martin Amis

(b. 1949) English novelist

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(1949– ),

novelist and journalist, born in south London, the son of Sir K. Amis. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, he was an editorial assistant on the Times Literary Supplement and literary editor of the New Statesman (1977–79). Stylistically flamboyant, his novels depict the violence and moral ambiguities of the late 20th cent. His first novel, The Rachel Papers (1973), is the story of a sexually precocious teenager who plans the seduction of an older woman. Sex is treated both graphically and satirically in Dead Babies (1975). This was followed by Success (1978), Other People (1981), and Money (1984), memorable for its linguistic dexterity and inventiveness. London Fields (1989), part thriller, part surrealist fable, balances violent action with comedy. Time's Arrow (1991) is the story of a Nazi war criminal in which the normal chronological sequence of events is reversed. The Information (1995) uses the rivalry of two writers to speculate on the growing insignificance of both people and books in the newly revealed dimensions of time and space. Night Train (1997) is a variation on the detective story. Einstein's Monsters (1987) is a volume of short stories reflecting a preoccupation with the threat of nuclear annihilation. Essays and journalism are collected in The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America (1986) and Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions (1993). Recent publications include Experience (2000), a memoir, Yellow Dog (2003), a novel satirizing the monarchy and the pornography industry, and House of Meetings (2006), a novella, and two short stories.

Subjects: Literature.

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