Martin Amis was born in Swansea, Wales, in 1949, the second child of Sir Kingsley Amis and Hilary Bardwell. Growing up the son of a literary celebrity was lively, and Amis and his siblings lived in various parts of the UK, Spain and the US as his father's work and his parents' complicated relationship dictated. His parents divorced when Amis was twelve, after which his father married novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard. Amis graduated from Exeter College, Oxford.
Amis worked at The Times Literary Supplement before becoming literary editor of the New Statesman at age 27. Published in 1973, Amis's first novel, The Rachel Papers, made a splash, winning the Somerset Maugham Award. Other early, largely satirical works were 1975's Dead Babies, Success (1977) and Other People (1981)...Show More »
Publication in 1984 of Money signaled a major expansion in Amis's theme and style. That novel was followed by the equally ambitious London Fields (1989) and The Information (1995); the three books informally comprise what is referred to as Amis's "London Trilogy." Other novels include the Booker-shortlisted Time's Arrow (1991); Night Train (1997); Yellow Dog (2003), nominated for the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award; House of Meetings (2006); and The Pregnant Widow (2010). Amis is the author of several works of nonfiction, including the acclaimed memoir Experience (2000), which explored Amis's relationship with his famous father and which won the James Tait Memorial Prize for biography; the political memoir Koba the Dread (2002); and The Second Plane (2008), a collection of essays on terrorism and radical Islam. Amis has also published two short story collections.
Amis, an influential stylist whose vivid prose has inspired critical admiration and much imitation, is also known for his books' unflinching considerations of postmodernism, feminism, politics and culture. For this reason, Amis's work has inspired much controversy. His books aside, Amis has been exhaustively documented in the London press, both for his political and often controversial opinions as well for his colorful personal life. Amis, who lives in London, has two sons from his first marriage and two daughters from his second, to the writer Isabel Fonseca. Amis has another daughter from an early relationship whom he met for the first time in 1996.