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The Age of Light

Whitney Scharer

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Picador
31 March 2020
Individual photographers; True stories; Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Historical romance; Historical fiction
'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: 196mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   273g
ISBN:   9781509889150
ISBN 10:   1509889159
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   31 March 2020
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

Glittering * TLS * Vivid and poetic, people by passionate artists, writers and filmmakers . . . This captivating novel beautifully and brilliantly captures Lee Miller's complex personality * Sunday Express * 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 <i>Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O'Keefe </i> An uplifting, heartbreaking and altogether immersive read -- Helen Simonson, <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>The Summer Before The War</i> and <i>Major Pettigrew's Last Stand</i> 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 <i>The Woman in the Castle </i><i>and </i><i>The Hazards of Good Breeding</i> 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 * This intoxicating debut based on real-life model-turned-photographer Lee Miller is hard to put down. Declaring she would rather taken a picture than be one, Lee becomes surrealist artist Man Ray's assistant. As they embark on a passionate love affair, working and partying their way through 1930s bohemian Paris, Lee transforms from muse to artist. This is a woman who demands to be seen - and not just for her beauty * Woman's Weekly * 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> 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 * Fascinating * Red Magazine * Scharer simultaneously conjures Paris of the Thirties - whether artists' studios, seedy dives or glamorous parties - with the deftest of brush strokes * Daily Mail * 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 fascinating 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, <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Those Who Save Us</i> and <i>The Lost Family</i> 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 <i>The Doll Factory</i> 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 <i>The Versions of Us</i> 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 - fascinating, 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, <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Circe</i> Rapturous and razor sharp all at once . . . 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> A startlingly modern love story and a mesmerizing portrait of a woman's self-transformation from muse into artist -- Celeste Ng, <i>New York Times </i>bestselling author of <i>Little Fires Everywhere</i> A multifaceted portrait of a 20th-century icon . . . seductively drawn . . . the tale on one woman's determination to set her own course * Sunday Times * Fans of Mrs Hemingway and The Paris Wife will love this one * Elle *


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