Amory's first memory is of her father standing on his head. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers.
It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.
A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his tiny flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for the magazine Beau Monde. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 20s, to New York of the 30s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons.
In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay. It is his greatest achievement to date. About the Author
William Boyd was born in 1952 in Accra, Ghana and was brought up there and in Nigeria. He is the author of A Good Man in Africa, which won the Whitbread Literary Award for the Best First Novel in 1981 and a Somerset Maugham Award in 1982; On the Yankee Station (1982), a collection of short stories; An Ice-Cream War, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize for 1982 and was short-listed for the Booker Prize; Stars and Bars (1984); The New Confessions (1987); Brazzaville Beach,
which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for 1990 and for which William Boyd was awarded the McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year; The Blue Afternoon
, which won the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award; The Destiny of Nathalie X,
a further collection of short stories, and Any Human Heart
. William Boyd is married and lives in London. Read Caroline Baum's review:
This is the perfect read for a plane flight or a holiday when you can immerse yourself for long uninterrupted chunks of time as you become engrossed in the life of British photographer Amory Clay.
Cool, level-headed and liberated in her desires, Amory is driven by curiosity to explore every situation and relationship. Free of convention, she observes the louche nightlife of nineteen thirties Berlin brothels and clubs through her hidden lens, witnesses a Fascist riot on the streets of London with dramatic personal consequences and conducts a simultaneous love affair with her married magazine editor and a hirsute French novelist.
Amory exerts a powerful fascination on the page thanks to the polished prose of William Boyd: while she is clearly a unique individual, with a distinctive family (including a near death childhood episode involving her father), Boyd makes her a symbol of twentieth century womanhood, emblematic of other, forgotten female photographers by placing her at the scene of events that helped shaped how we see the times. The result is an elegant album of vivid memories.
This is a deal provided by booktopia.