English novelist and journalist. His works are characterized by their sharp black humour and depict the absurdity and excesses of modern society. They include The Rachel Papers (1973, winner of 1974 Somerset Maugham Award), a memoir of adolescence told through flashbacks; Dead Babies (1975), which addresses decadence and sadism; Money (1984), about a hedonistic film director; London Fields (1989), a darkly comic murder tale; and Time's Arrow (1991), a story of a German doctor during the Holocaust, recounted in reverse chronological order.
Later works include the novels The Information (1995), Night Train (1997), Yellow Dog (2003), House of Meetings (2006), and The Pregnant Widow (2008); the collections Heavy Water and Other Stories and State of England and Other Stories (both 1998); and his memoir Experience (2000). Known for his resolutely controversial subject matter, he has based narratives on, for example, the Holocaust and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, as in his essay and short-story collection The Second Plane: September 11: Terror and Boredom (2008). He is the son of writer Kingsley Amis.
Born in Oxford, England, Amis spent his childhood in Wales and, briefly, the USA. He studied at Exeter College, Oxford University. In 1971, he began work as a book reviewer for the Observer and subsequently held editorial posts at the Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman. He has been a special writer of the Observer since 1980, and has contributed regularly to the Sunday Telegraph and New York Times.
Amis, Martin Louis
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