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Portraits: Martin Amis
Martin Amis Margaret Atwood Mary Gordon Colin McGinn David Grossman Anne Provoost
Martin Amis Margaret Atwood Mary Gordon Colin McGinn David Grossman Anne Provoost
Richard Rodriguez Salman Rushdie Will Power Pema Chödrön Sir John Houghton Jeanette Winterson
Richard Rodriguez Salman Rushdie Will Power Pema Chödrön Sir John Houghton Jeanette Winterson

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During a career spanning more than three decades, Martin Amis has produced a slew of sharp-witted, highly stylized novels that have marked him as one of the most original and influential voices in contemporary British literature.

"The opposite of religious belief is not secularism or atheism. It's the independence of mind — where you do your thinking alone."
--Martin Amis

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His debut work, THE RACHEL PAPERS (1973) - a comedic and salacious tale about a teenage cad's seduction and abandonment of a sensitive young girl - won the Somerset Maugham Award for best novel by an author under 35. Its vein of mordant humor and its linguistic acrobatics would become hallmarks of Amis' work, particularly his early novels, including DEAD BABIES (1975) and SUCCESS (1978).

In the mid-1980s, Amis began to explore social and political themes in greater depth. MONEY: A SUICIDE NOTE (1984), turned a cynical eye toward the materialism and unchecked excess of the Reagan-Thatcher era, depicting the debauched antics of a flailing movie producer with a frightening appetitie for drugs, booze, porn, and cash. His novel LONDON FIELDS (1989), a multilayered satire of love and death told against a backdrop of impending global catastrophe, and his short-story collection EINSTEIN'S MONSTERS (1987) highlighted the apocalyptic anxieties of life in the nuclear age.

Amis' preoccupation with the great issues of the 20th century resulted in two compelling and technically innovative historical works - TIME'S ARROW: OR THE NATURE OF THE OFFENSE (1991) and KOBA THE DREAD: LAUGHTER AND THE TWENTY MILLION (2002), treating Nazi and Stalinist crimes, respectively. More recently, he authored "The Last Days of Muhammad Atta," a fictionalized account of the final hours of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers. The piece appeared in THE NEW YORKER magazine in April 2006 and will be included in Amis' forthcoming book, HOUSE OF MEETINGS.

Amis' other works inlcude the novels OTHER PEOPLE (1981), THE INFORMATION (1995), NIGHT TRAIN (1997), and YELLOW DOG (2003); the short-story collection HEAVY WATER AND OTHER STORIES (1998); the essay collections THE MORONIC INFERNO AND OTHER VISITS TO AMERICA (1986), VISITING MRS. NABOKOV AND OTHER EXCURSIONS (1993), and THE WAR AGAINST CLICHÉ (2001); and his personal memoir, EXPERIENCE (2000).

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    listenMartin Amis reads from his forthcoming book at the PEN Festival (mp3)

    listenMore from the PEN World Voices Festival Archive


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  • About Millennial anxiety and Norman Mailer — matters under discussion in the interview

  • About faith & politics

  • About belief & doubt

  • FAITH & REASON booklist


  • Resources
  • "Career Move," a short story by Martin Amis

  • NEW YORK TIMES featured author: Martin Amis

  • THE GUARDIAN Special Reports: Martin Amis

  • Read a chapter of NIGHT TRAIN


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