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Age of Light

Author: Whitney Scharer  

Paperback

A sweeping debut about a love affair amidst the smoky cabarets, opium dens and Surrealist parties of 1930s Paris.

Model. Muse. Lover. Artist. This sweeping debut novel tells the story of Lee Miller's journey to become an artist and her love affair with Man Ray in bohemian 1930s Paris.

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Paperback

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Summary

A sweeping debut about a love affair amidst the smoky cabarets, opium dens and Surrealist parties of 1930s Paris.

Model. Muse. Lover. Artist. This sweeping debut novel tells the story of Lee Miller's journey to become an artist and her love affair with Man Ray in bohemian 1930s Paris.

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Description

'I'd rather take a photograph than be one,' says Lee Miller, shortly after she arrives in Paris in 1929. Gorgeous and talented, Lee has left behind a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of being an artist. There she catches the eye of the famous Surrealist artist Man Ray. An egotistical, charismatic force, Lee is drawn to him immediately. Though he initially wants to use her as a model, Lee is determined to become Man's photography assistant instead.

As their personal and professional lives become further entwined, Lee is consumed by two desires: to become a famous photographer and to have a healthy and loving relationship. But as Lee asserts herself and moves from being a muse to an artist, Man's jealousy spirals out of control, and their mutual betrayals threaten to destroy them both.

Richly detailed and filled with a cast of famous characters, The Age of Light is a captivating historical novel about ambition, love, and the personal price of making art. In exploring Lee's complicated and fascinating history, Whitney Scharer has brought a brilliant and pioneering artist out of the shadow of a man's story and into the light.

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Critic Reviews

“Fascinating”

Glittering TLS Scharer's wonderful novel is a sensory, sensual feast: a passionate love story, a clear-eyed examination of an artist's life, and an evocation of the ways people can make and break each other -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave Intoxicating . . . Scharer is always alert to the interplay of passion, intelligence, exhilaration, bitterness, and melancholy that fueled this unique woman to create a life of her own. The object of an intense bidding war that resulted in a million-dollar deal, Scharer's first novel more than lives up to its prepublication hype. Booklist A masterpiece, The Age of Light is a searing, evocative novel of love and war, and a woman's fierce determination to transcend her role as muse and remake the world through her own art -- Dawn Tripp, author of Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keefe An uplifting, heartbreaking and altogether immersive read -- Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Before The War and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand A bold, intimate and gorgeous novel - at once a vivid romp through the salons and parties of the Paris art world in the 1930s and a breathtaking close up of a woman battling to be both muse and artist, lover and collaborator, and above all, herself -- Jessica Shattuck, author of The Woman in the Castle and The Hazards of Good Breeding Scharer's stellar debut chronicles the tumultuous working and romantic relationships of photographer Man Ray and model-turned-photographer Lee Miller in early 1930s Paris. Scharer's brilliant portrayal of the complicated couple features a page-turning story and thrillingly depicts the artistic process. Publishers Weekly Scharer sets her viewfinder selectively, focusing on her heroine's insecurities as much as her accomplishments as an artist; her hunger to be more than "a neck to hold pearls, a slim waist to show off a belt" is contrasted with her habit of solving problems by simply leaving. The price for Lee is steep, but it makes for irresistible reading. Sexy and moving. Kirkus A gorgeous evocation of the life of Lee Miller. The prose is stunning, the settings perfect - this is the woman that the work only hinted at. Absolutely breathtaking -- Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths A collision of creativity, ambition, passion, jealousy and possessiveness . . . played out amid the giddy excesses of the surrealist crowd. Scharer captures the thrill of artistic creation and the swirling hedonism of Paris's beautiful people Times This gorgeously written novel uses the relationship between Lee Miller and Man Ray to ask pertinent questions about the relationship between love, ambition and art i-news In this sumptuous novel, Whitney Scharer shines a well-deserved light on a figure Emerald Street A dazzling novel of decadence, passion, art and betrayal . . . I adored it -- Lucy Diamond This magnetic, addictive novel will beguile every reader. Read it, read it! -- Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family Captivating Good Housekeeping Spectacular and riveting . . . The prose is sleek and stylish and purrs along Daily Express The Age of Light is mesmerising, beautifully written and deeply convincing. I loved it -- Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory Based on the real-life relationship between iconic model-turned-photographer Lee Miller and surrealist artist Man Ray, this is a deliciously chic feminist take on a legend Grazia Sumptuous and enveloping and beautifully told. I was utterly absorbed in Lee Miller's life and work, and in the heady atmosphere of 1930s Paris . . . Stunning -- Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us I adored The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer, which was every bit as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be. A stunning debut - , evocative and beautifully written. I loved it -- Jill Mansell Utterly immersive . . . this is a powerful, sensual and gripping portrait of the forging of an artist's soul -- Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe Red Magazine Fans of Mrs Hemingway and The Paris Wife will love this one Elle Rapturous and razor sharp all at once . . . Whitney Scharer is a stunning new discovery. This novel sparks on every page -- Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife This intoxicating debut based on real-life model-turned-photographer Lee Miller is hard to put down Woman's Weekly A multifaceted portrait of a 20th-century icon . . . seductively drawn . . . the tale on one woman's determination to set her own course Sunday Times Captivating Sunday Express A startlingly modern love story and a mesmerizing portrait of a woman's self-transformation from muse into artist -- Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere Scharer simultaneously conjures Paris of the Thirties - whether artists' studios, seedy dives or glamorous parties - with the deftest of brush strokes Daily Mail

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About the Author

Whitney Scharer earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington, and her short fiction has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and other journals. She's received an Emerging Artist Award in Literature from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, a Somerville Arts Council Artists grant, and been awarded a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The Age of Light is her first novel.

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Product Details

Publisher
Pan Macmillan | Picador
Published
2nd April 2020
Pages
320
ISBN
9781509889150
Save
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RRP $18.99
$15.95
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