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The Age of Light

Whitney Scharer



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29 January 2019
Individual photographers; True stories; Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Historical romance; Historical fiction
'Whitney Scharer's storytelling is utterly immersive and gorgeous in its details . . . This is a powerful, sensual and gripping portrait of the forging of an artist's soul.' Madeleine Miller, author of Circe

'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.
By:   Whitney Scharer
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   498g
ISBN:   9781509889136
ISBN 10:   1509889132
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   29 January 2019
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

Reviews for The Age of Light

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 * 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 * 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 * I adored The Age of Light. A stunning debut - fascinating, evocative and beautifully written. I loved it. -- Jill Mansell From the opium dens of Paris to Man Ray's darkroom The Age of Light is drawn with the exactness of a photograph. I was awed by the skill with which Scharer portrayed Lee's defiance and ambition. The Age of Light is mesmerising, beautifully written and deeply convincing. I loved it. -- Elizabeth Macneal, author of <i>The Doll Factory</i> It's a deliciously chic feminist take on a legend * Grazia * 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 <i>Little Deaths</i> Scharer . . . conjures Paris of the Thirties - whether artists' studios, seedy dives or glamorous parties - with the deftest of brush strokes. * Daily Mail * A dazzling novel of decadence, passion, art and betrayal . . . I adored it. -- Lucy Diamond This 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 Milwood Hargrave, award-winning author of <i>The Girl of Ink and Stars</i> This novel shows how [Lee Miller] transcended the male-accessory role and casts her in a new light as the protagonist of her own independent, ambitious life. Fans of Mrs Hemingway and The Paris Wife will love this one. * Elle * Rapturous and razor sharp all at once, The Age of Light fearlessly unzips anything we might know of Lee Miller as model and muse and recasts her as artist, free thinker and architect of a singular and unapologetic life. Whitney Scharer is a stunning new discovery. This novel sparks on every page. -- Paula McLain, <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>The Paris Wife</i> Transporting you into Lee Miller's life, and her struggles to be taken seriously in a man's world. This is a powerful, sensual and gripping portrait of the forging of an artist's soul. -- Madeline Miller, <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Circe</i> I adored this novel. It's sumptuous and enveloping and beautifully told . . . I can't believe this is a debut novel - it is so wonderfully assured. Stunning. -- Laura Barnett, author of <i>The Versions of Us</i> In incandescent prose, Whitney Scharer has created an unforgettable heroine discovering her passion, her independence, and her art - and what she must sacrifice to have them. -- Celeste Ng, <i>New York Times </i>bestselling author of <i>Little Fires Everywhere</i> Scharer captures the thrill of artistic creation and the swirling hedonism of Paris's beautiful people. * The Times *

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