The Age of Light
by Whitney Scharer


Overview - "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. This novel sparks on every page." --Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin

A captivating debut novel by Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light tells the true story of Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her search to forge a new identity as an artist after a life spent as a muse. "I'd rather take a photograph than be one," she declares after she arrives in Paris in 1929, where she soon catches the eye of the famous Surrealist Man Ray. Though he wants to use her only as a model, Lee convinces him to take her on as his assistant and teach her everything he knows. As they work together in the darkroom, their personal and professional lives become intimately entwined, changing the course of Lee's life forever.

Lee's journey of self-discovery takes took her from the cabarets of bohemian Paris to the battlefields of war-torn Europe during WWII, from inventing radical new photography techniques to documenting the liberation of the concentration camps as one of the first female war correspondents. Through it all, Lee must grapple with the question of whether it's possible to stay true to herself while also fulfilling her artistic ambition--and what she will have to sacrifice to do so.

Told in alternating timelines of 1930s Paris and the battlefields of WWII, this sensuous, richly researched and imagined debut novel brings to light the life of a fearless, original artist--a woman whose name and art should be known by everyone.

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More About The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer
 
 
 
Overview
"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. This novel sparks on every page." --Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin

A captivating debut novel by Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light tells the true story of Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her search to forge a new identity as an artist after a life spent as a muse. "I'd rather take a photograph than be one," she declares after she arrives in Paris in 1929, where she soon catches the eye of the famous Surrealist Man Ray. Though he wants to use her only as a model, Lee convinces him to take her on as his assistant and teach her everything he knows. As they work together in the darkroom, their personal and professional lives become intimately entwined, changing the course of Lee's life forever.

Lee's journey of self-discovery takes took her from the cabarets of bohemian Paris to the battlefields of war-torn Europe during WWII, from inventing radical new photography techniques to documenting the liberation of the concentration camps as one of the first female war correspondents. Through it all, Lee must grapple with the question of whether it's possible to stay true to herself while also fulfilling her artistic ambition--and what she will have to sacrifice to do so.

Told in alternating timelines of 1930s Paris and the battlefields of WWII, this sensuous, richly researched and imagined debut novel brings to light the life of a fearless, original artist--a woman whose name and art should be known by everyone.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316524087
  • ISBN-10: 0316524085
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: February 2019
  • Page Count: 384
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Biographical
Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Historical - World War II

 
BookPage Reviews

The Age of Light

Lee Miller is accustomed to the male gaze. She has stood in its light for decades, first as the subject of her father’s photos and then as a Vogue cover model. But by the time she meets renowned photographer Man Ray in Paris, Lee has grown tired of being captured on film. Instead, she wants to step behind the camera. She wants to become the person wielding control, to tell stories instead of serving as a prop in someone else’s narrative. She convinces Man Ray to take her on as an assistant, but eventually Lee finds herself guided by her mentor’s instincts. She morphs from assistant to protégé, muse and lover.

Decades later, Lee has rewritten her story. She’s a domestic correspondent for Vogue, but she knows her editor has grown weary of the multicourse dinners she writes about and photographs. The editor offers her an ultimatum: Write about your years with Man Ray—or else your time at Vogue may end.

Lee agrees, but she insists the magazine publish her photos, not Man Ray’s, and the editor pushes back. “This is a story about Man Ray,” she says. “But it’s not,” Lee thinks. “And that’s been the problem all along.”

In her bold debut novel, The Age of Light, Whitney Scharer gives new life to Lee Miller, whose place in history has been overshadowed by her larger-than-life teacher. Scharer’s retelling draws from Lee’s relationships with men and her remarkable body of work as she progresses from a New York City model to a photographer in 1930s Paris, from a World War II correspondent to a gourmet cook in the 1960s. Scharer’s lusty prose illuminates Lee’s struggles and ambition in this lush tale.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews