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Encyclopedia > Martin Amis
Photo of Martin Amis by Robert Birnbaum
Photo of Martin Amis by Robert Birnbaum

Martin Amis (born August 25, 1949) is an English novelist. His best known novels include Money (1984), London Fields (1989), Time's Arrow (1991) and The Information (1995). ImageMetadata File history File links MartinAmis2. ... ImageMetadata File history File links MartinAmis2. ... August 25 is the 237th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (238th in leap years), with 128 days remaining. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Motto:   (the Royal motto3) (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the Queen 4 Capital London Most populous conurbation Greater London Urban Area English, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic 5 Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair Formation    - Union of the Crowns 24 March 1603   - Acts of... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... Money (full title: Money: A Suicide Note) is a 1984 novel by Martin Amis. ... London Fields is a black comic novel by British writer Martin Amis, published in 1986. ... Times Arrow is a novel by Martin Amis that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991. ...


Influenced by Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as by his father Sir Kingsley Amis, Amis's distinctive style has itself influenced a generation of writers, including Will Self and Zadie Smith [1] [2]. The Guardian writes that "all his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis complained of as a 'terrible compulsive vividness in his style ... that constant demonstrating of his command of English'; and it's true that the Amis-ness of Amis will be recognisable in any piece before he reaches his first full stop." [3] Bellow as depicted in his Nobel diploma. ... Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович Набо́ков, pronounced ) (April 22, 1899 [O.S. April 10], Saint Petersburg – July 2, 1977, Montreux) was a Russian-American author. ... Sir Kingsley William Amis (April 16, 1922 – October 22, 1995) was an English novelist, poet, critic, and teacher. ... Will Self Will Self (born September 26, 1961) is an English novelist, reviewer and columnist. ... Zadie Smith Zadie Smith (born October 27, 1975) is a British novelist. ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...


Amis's raw material is what he sees as the absurdity of the postmodern condition and the excesses of late-capitalist Western society with its grotesque caricatures.[citation needed] His recent work has explored contemporary moral and geopolitical issues, including the Holocaust, Communist Russia, and 9/11 and Islamism. Absurdism is a philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the universe will ultimately fail because no such meaning exists (at least in relation to humanity). ... Andy Warhols iconic Marilyn Monroe Postmodernism is an idea that has been extremely controversial and difficult to define among scholars, intellectuals, and historians, because the term implies to many that the modern historical period has passed. ... This box:      Capitalism generally refers to an economic system in which the means of production are mostly privately or corporately owned and operated for profit, in which investment is determined by private decision, and in which distribution, production and pricing of goods and services are determined in a largely free... A common caricature of Charles Darwin focuses on his beard, eyebrows, and baldness, while often giving him the features of an ape or monkey. ...

Contents

Early life

Amis's paternal grandfather was a mustard clerk from Clapham, and his maternal grandfather a shoe millionaire. [4] His parents, Hilly and Kingsley, divorced when he was twelve. Much later, Kingsley lived in his house with Hilly and her third husband Alistair Boyd, Lord Kilmarnock.[5][6] "Something out of early Updike, 'Couples' flirtations and a fair amount of drinking," he told The New York Times. "They were all 'at it'. " [7] Clapham is a neighbourhood in the London Borough of Wandsworth, South London. ... John Updike John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932) is an American writer born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, where he lived until he was 13. ... The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ...


Born in Cardiff, South Wales, Martin was the middle of three children, with an older brother, Philip, and a younger sister, Sally. He attended a number of different schools in the 1950s and 1960s including Swansea Grammar School. The acclaim that followed Kingsley's first novel Lucky Jim sent the Amises to Princeton, New Jersey, where Kingsley lectured. This was Amis's introduction to the United States. This article is about the Welsh capital. ... Motto: (Welsh for Wales forever) Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau Capital Cardiff Largest city Cardiff Official language(s) Welsh, English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair MP  - First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Unification    - by Gruffudd ap Llywelyn 1056  Area    - Total 20,779... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... Bishop Gore is a famous secondary school in Swansea, Wales established in 1682. ... Christine (Sharon Acker) and Jim (Ian Carmichael) in a cab Lucky Jim is a comic novel written by Kingsley Amis, first published in 1954. ... Nassau Street, Princetons main street. ...


Martin read comic books until his stepmother, the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, introduced him to Jane Austen, a writer he often names as his earliest influence. After teenage years spent in flowery shirts and a short spell at Westminster School, he graduated from Exeter College, Oxford with a 'formal' First in English—'the sort where you are called in for a viva and the examiners tell you how much they enjoyed reading your papers'.[1] A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Elizabeth Jane Howard is an English novelist. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Royal College of St. ... College name Exeter College Collegium Exoniense Named after Walter de Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter Established 1314 Sister College Emmanuel College Rector Ms Frances Cairncross JCR President Octave Oppetit Undergraduates 299 MCR President Maria Sciara Graduates 150 Homepage Boatclub Exeter College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of... The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees (bachelors degrees and some masters degrees) in the United Kingdom. ... The term English literature refers to literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; Joseph Conrad was Polish, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American as was T.S Eliot, Salman... For the bus system in York Region, Ontario, Canada, please see Viva (bus rapid transit). ...


After Oxford, he found an entry-level job at The Times Literary Supplement, and at age 27 became literary editor of The New Statesman, where he met lifelong friend Christopher Hitchens, and then a feature writer for The Observer. The Times Literary Supplement (or TLS) is a weekly literary review published in London by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation. ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... Christopher Hitchens Christopher Eric Hitchens (born in Portsmouth, England April 13, 1949) is an author, journalist and literary critic. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Early writing

According to Martin, Kingsley Amis famously showed no interest in his son's work. "I can point out the exact place where he stopped and sent Money twirling through the air; that's where the character named Martin Amis comes in." "Breaking the rules, buggering about with the reader, drawing attention to himself," Kingsley complained [8].


His first novel The Rachel Papers (1973) won the Somerset Maugham Award. The most traditional of his novels, made into an unsuccessful cult film, it tells the story of a bright, egotistical teenager (which Amis acknowledges as autobiographical) and his relationship with the eponymous girlfriend in the year before going to university. The Somerset Maugham Award is a British literary prize given each May by the Society of Authors. ... The Rachel Papers is a 1989 British film based on a novel by Martin Amis. ...


He also wrote the screenplay for the film Saturn 3. It has been suggested that Saturn 3 (film) be merged into this article or section. ...


Dead Babies (1975), more flippant in tone, has a typically "sixties" plot, with a house full of characters who abuse various substances. A number of Amis's characteristics show up here for the first time: mordant black humour, obsession with the zeitgeist, authorial intervention, a character subjected to sadistically humorous misfortunes and humiliations, and a defiant casualness ("my attitude has been, I don't know much about science, but I know what I like"). A film adaptation was made in 2000 which was also unsuccessful. Look up Zeitgeist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Success (1977) told the story of two foster-brothers, Gregory Riding and Terry Service, and their rising and falling fortunes. This was the first example of Amis's fondness for symbolically 'pairing' characters in his novels, which has been a recurrent feature in his fiction since (Martin Amis and Martina Twain in Money, Richard Tull and Gwyn Barry in The Information, and Jennifer Rockwell and Mike Hoolihan in Night Train).


Other People: A Mystery Story (1981), about a young woman coming out of a coma, was a transitional novel in that it was the first of Amis's to show authorial intervention in the narrative voice, and highly artificed language in the heroine's descriptions of everyday objects, which was said to be influenced by his contemporary Craig Raine's 'Martian' school of poetry. Craig Raine (3 December 1944 - ) is an English poet and critic born in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. ...


Later career

Eight books by Martin Amis: (Top row, left to right) Experience, London Fields, Dead Babies, The Information (Second row, left to right) Money, Other People, Time's Arrow, Heavy Water

His best-known novels, and the ones most respected by critics, are Money, London Fields, Time's Arrow, and The Information (novel). ImageMetadata File history File links A_collection_of_books_written_by_Martin_Amis_owned_by_Bodnotbod. ... Money (full title: Money: A Suicide Note) is a 1984 novel by Martin Amis. ... London Fields is a black comic novel by British writer Martin Amis, published in 1986. ... Times Arrow is a novel by Martin Amis that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991. ... The Information is a 1995 novel by British writer Martin Amis. ...


Money (subtitled A Suicide Note) is a first-person narrative by John Self, advertising man and would-be film director, who is "addicted to the twentieth century." The book follows him as he flies back and forth across the Atlantic in pursuit of personal and professional success, and describes a series of comic episodes with darker undertones. The vivid and stylised use of language and black humour was a critical success and the book remains Amis's most highly regarded work.


London Fields, Amis's longest work, describes the encounters between three main characters in London in 1999, as a climate disaster approaches. The characters had typically Amisian names and broad caricatured qualities: Keith Talent, the lower-class crook with a passion for darts; Nicola Six, a femme fatale who is determined to be murdered; and upper-middle-class Guy Clinch, 'the fool, the foil, the poor foal' who is destined to come between the other two. The book was reportedly omitted from the Booker Prize shortlist in its year of publication, 1989, because of panel members protesting against its alleged misogyny.


Time's Arrow, the autobiography of a doctor who helped torture Jews during the Holocaust, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, drew notice both for its unusual technique — time runs backwards during the entire novel, down to the dialogue initially being spoken backwards — as well as for its topic. This article is becoming very long. ... The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in...


The size of the advance (an alleged £500,000) demanded and obtained by Amis for The Information (1995) attracted what Amis described as "an Eisteddfod of hostility" from writers and critics after he left his agent of many years, Pat Kavanagh, in order to be represented by the Harvard-educated Andrew "The Jackal" Wylie. Kavanagh is married to Julian Barnes, with whom Amis had been friends for many years, but the incident caused a rift that, according to Amis in his autobiography Experience (1999), has not yet healed. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... Barnes as Francophile and Francophone in Bernard Pivots Double je (France 2, March 2005) Julian Patrick Barnes (born January 19, 1946 in Leicester) is a contemporary English writer whose novels and short stories have been seen as examples of postmodernism in literature. ...


Night Train (1997) is a short novel in the stylised form of a US police procedural, narrated by the female, but mannish, Detective Mike Hoolihan, who has been called upon to investigate the suicide of her boss's daughter. Amis's American vernacular in the narrative was criticised by, among others, John Updike, although the novel found defenders elsewhere, notably in Janis Bellow, wife of Amis's sometime mentor Saul Bellow. John Updike John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932) is an American writer born in Shillington, Pennsylvania, where he lived until he was 13. ... Bellow as depicted in his Nobel diploma. ...


The memoir Experience is largely about his relationship with his father, Kingsley Amis, though he also writes of being reunited with long-lost daughter, Delilah Seale, the product of an affair in the 1970s, whom he did not see until she was 19, and the story of how one of his cousins, 21-year-old Lucy Partington, became a victim of Fred West [9]. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


In 2002, Amis published Koba the Dread, a book about the crimes of Stalinism. The book provoked a literary controversy for its ostensibly naïve and dilettante approach to the material, and for its attack on his longtime friend Christopher Hitchens, who rebuked his charges in a stinging review in The Atlantic. Christopher Hitchens Christopher Eric Hitchens (born in Portsmouth, England April 13, 1949) is an author, journalist and literary critic. ...


In 2003, Yellow Dog, Amis's first novel in six years, was denounced by Tibor Fischer, whose comments were widely reported in the media: "Yellow Dog isn't bad as in not very good or slightly disappointing. It's not-knowing-where-to-look bad. I was reading my copy on the Tube and I was terrified someone would look over my shoulder . . . It's like your favourite uncle being caught in a school playground, masturbating". Elsewhere, the book received mixed reviews, with some critics proclaiming the novel a return to form, but most considering Amis a spent force. Tibor Fischer is a British novelist and short story writer. ... The Tube may refer to: The London Underground Television generally The Tube (London Underground TV series), an ITV/Sky programme featuring the work of staff on the London Underground The Tube (TV series), a former Channel 4 (UK) music programme The Tube (TV channel), US music video channel The Port... Sitting woman, Drawing 1916 by Gustav Klimt Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation, particularly of ones own genitals, often to the point of orgasm, that is accomplished manually, by other types of bodily contact (except for sexual intercourse), by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these...


In September 2006, Amis published House of Meetings, a short novel about two half-brothers who loved the same woman and who were incarcerated together in a Soviet prison camp. In 2007, Amis will publish The Pregnant Widow which marks the beginning of a new four-book deal.


Amis has also released two collections of short stories (Einstein's Monsters and Heavy Water), three volumes of collected journalism and criticism (The Moronic Inferno, Visiting Mrs. Nabokov and The War Against Cliché), and Invasion of the Space Invaders .


He lives and writes in London and Uruguay and is married to the writer Isabel Fonseca, his second wife. London (pronounced ) is the capital city of the United Kingdom and the largest city of England (strangely, England has no constitutional existence within the United Kingdom, and therefore cannot be said to have a capital). ...


He stoked up controversy in October when he described Islamic fundamentalists as "boring bastards", saying, "When I come back to Britain I see a pretty good multicultural society. The only element that is not fitting in is Islam." His views on Islamism later earned him the sobriquet Blitcon in the New Statesman (his former employer), argued to be wrongly applied [10]. The respected Indian writer Pankaj Mishra wrote a devastating critique of Amis's views on Islam in the Observer, which he characterised as "a bold and hectic display of prejudice and ignorance". He pointed out that Amis's much criticised Observer piece went on "for more than 10,000 words without describing an individual experience of Muslim societies deeper than Christopher Hitchens's acquisition of an Osama T-shirt in Peshawar and the Amis family's failure to enter, after closing time, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem." [11]. This article is about political Islamism. ... Blitcon is a collective portmanteau term invented to describe the political tendencies of Britains three most prominent novelists (British literary neoconservatives). It was first used by Ziauddin Sardar in December 2006. ... The New Statesman is a left-of-centre political weekly published in London. ... Pankaj Mishra was born in North India in 1969. ...


Bibliography

Novels

The Rachel Papers is a 1989 British film based on a novel by Martin Amis. ... Money (full title: Money: A Suicide Note) is a 1984 novel by Martin Amis. ... London Fields is a black comic novel by British writer Martin Amis, published in 1986. ... Times Arrow is a novel by Martin Amis that was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1991. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

Collections

  • Einstein's Monsters (1987)
  • Two Stories (1994)
  • God's Dice (1995)
  • Heavy Water: And Other Stories (1998)
  • State of England: And Other Stories (1998)
  • Amis Omnibus (omnibus) (1999)
  • The Fiction of Martin Amis (2000)
  • Vintage Amis

Non fiction

  • Invasion of the Space Invaders (1982)
  • The Moronic Inferno: And Other Visits to America (1986)
  • Visiting Mrs Nabokov: And Other Excursions (1993)
  • Experience (2000)
  • The War Against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000 (2001)
  • Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million (2002) (About Joseph Stalin and Russian History)

The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The history of Russia is essentially that of its many nationalities, each with a separate history and complex origins. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Martin Amis
  • The Martin Amis Web (created by James Diedrick; now managed by Gavin Keulks)
  • The Martin Amis Discussion Board
  • [12] Martin Amis - Author Page ([13] Guardian Books)
  • [14] Two Audio Interviews with Martin Amis: 1985 (23 min 22 s) and 1990 (32 min 4 s) RealAudio
  • [15] Martin Amis, The New York Times: Reviews of Martin Amis's earlier books; articles about and by Martin Amis
  • [16] Authors in the front line: Martin Amis, The Sunday Times Magazine, February 06, 2005 – On the streets of Colombia, young boys cripple or murder each other just for showing disrespect or for winning at a game of cards. Is the taste for violence opening up a wound that can never heal? Report: Martin Amis – In The Sunday Times Magazine's continuing series of articles, renowned writers bring a fresh perspective to the world's trouble spots. The international medical-aid organisation MSF has helped our correspondents reach some of these inhospitable areas.
  • [17] CareerMove - A complete short story by Amis.
  • [18] Hendon Mob Poker Tournament Results

  Results from FactBites:
 
Martin Amis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1200 words)
Martin Amis (born August 25, 1949) is a British novelist.
The unparalleled size of the advance demanded and obtained by Amis for The Information attracted what Amis described as "an Eisteddfod of hostility" from writers and critics after he left his agent of many years, Pat Kavanagh, in order to be represented by the Harvard-educated Andrew "The Jackal" Wylie.
Kavanagh is married to Julian Barnes, with whom Amis had been friends for many years, but the incident caused a rift that is generally regarded to be the inspiration for The Information which features two rival authors.
London Fields (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (704 words)
Regarded by Amis's readership as possibly his strongest novel, the tone gradually shifts from high comedy, interspersed with deep personal introspections and occasional musings on astrophysics, to a dark sense of foreboding and, eventually, panic as the deadline or "horrorday" — the climactic scene alluded to on the very first page — approaches.
Amis explains the title of the novel in his preface, although somewhat obscurely.
Young, normally unable to write good fiction, realises he can simply document the progress towards the murder to create a plausible, saleable, story and enters into a strange relationship with Six where he regularly interviews her and is updated on the "plot".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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