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The Resource Sweet caress : the many lives of Amory Clay, William Boyd

Sweet caress : the many lives of Amory Clay, William Boyd

Label
Sweet caress : the many lives of Amory Clay
Title
Sweet caress
Title remainder
the many lives of Amory Clay
Statement of responsibility
William Boyd
Title variation
Sweet caress : a novel
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"When Amory Clay was born, in the decade before the Great War, her disappointed father gave her an androgynous name and announced the birth of a son. But this daughter was not one to let others define her; Amory became a woman who accepted no limits to what that could mean, and, from the time she picked up her first camera, one who would record her own version of events. Moving freely between London and New York, between photojournalism and fashion photography, and between the men who love her on complicated terms, Amory establishes her reputation as a risk taker and a passionate life traveler. Her hunger for experience draws her to the decadence of Weimar Berlin and the violence of London's blackshirt riots, to the Rhineland with Allied troops and into the political tangle of war-torn Vietnam. In her ambitious career, the seminal moments of the 20th century will become the unforgettable moments of her own biography, as well. In Sweet Caress, Amory Clay comes wondrously to life, her vibrant personality enveloping the reader from the start. And, running through the novel, her photographs over the decades allow us to experience this vast story not only with Amory's voice but with her vision. William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates."--provided by publisher
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Boyd (Waiting for Sunrise, 2011) is a literary trickster, writing historical fiction that hews audaciously close to biography or autobiography, as in this ensnaring tale narrated with panache by an intrepid English female photographer named Amory Clay. Boyd further muddies the waters by including vintage photographs impertinently attributed to his fictional character. Amory’s irresistible story rockets on from a childhood derailed by the struggles of her traumatized WWI veteran father to an abrupt education in sexuality and class as she apprentices with her dapper uncle, a high-society photographer. With a bold and hungry eye, Amory soon propels herself into far edgier realms, risking all to photograph Berlin sex clubs, a fascist riot in London, and the front lines in WWII and the Vietnam War. Continually smoking, drinking, and taking off at a moment’s notice, Amory navigates high-wire relationships with a German lesbian photographer, an American magazine editor, a French writer, and a Scottish lord. In avidly precise scenes of stylish romance, candid eroticism, thorny irony, crushing defeat, and reclaimed independence, Boyd portrays a mesmerizingly determined and clever protagonist created in homage to such pioneering real-life photographers as Lee Miller and Margaret Bourke-White. He also dramatizes with empathy and sharp intent the insidious psychic damage caused by war. The result is a seductively glossy yet gritty portrait of a strong, adventurous woman and an epoch-spanning novel veined with unsettling psychological and social insights. -- Seaman, Donna (Reviewed 09-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 112, number 1, p52)
  • Throughout his career, and especially in his masterly Every Human Heart , Boyd has excelled in depicting the life of a talented artist who suffers more failures than triumphs yet generates significant art. Here he has invented a spunky heroine named Amory Clay, born in Britain in 1908, educated at a boarding school, and determined to become a professional photographer. Amory is restless, rash, impulsive—and way ahead of her time. Her job as a society photographer ends in scandal, as does her next adventure in decadent prewar Berlin, where she infiltrates secret sex clubs and snaps the debauched antics there. Another scandal ensues when her photos are confiscated as pornographic and she is arrested for obscenity. (In a nice touch, Boyd scatters 70 snapshots throughout the novel as examples of Amory’s work.) A dashing lover brings her to the U.S. for magazine assignments; another lover appears, and she begins a second relationship. WWII is the crucible in which Amory finds her true calling as a war photographer. In Germany she meets army officer Sholto Farr, a Scottish aristocrat, whom she later marries, but soon she is unmoored once more. In addition to the psychologically rich characterization, a wealth of atmospheric details—what the characters wear, the brands of cigarettes they smoke, and the whisky they knock back—add depth, immediacy, and authenticity to an engrossing, moving story of Amory’s turns of fortune. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 20, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 29, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ As recounted in this powerful new novel by the multiaward-winning Boyd (A Good Man in Africa ), Amory Clay was born during England's Edwardian era and spent her entire extraordinary life defying conventions. Introduced to the power of the camera by her photographer uncle, she quickly grew bored shooting high-society events. By the time she was in her 20s, a photo shoot in an after-hours German strip club caused an international scandal, got her arrested, and launched her career as a serious photographer. A few years later, she was badly beaten by the Blackshirts in the London street riots of 1936. Amory's passion for her work and the men in her life who influenced her achievements brought her to the battlefields of World War II, where she met her husband. Settling down with him on his Scottish estate was the beginning of a whole new chapter, abounding with tragedies and challenges. VERDICT The authenticity of Boyd's research, the mix of historical events and real-life figures such as Hannelore Hahn and Margaret Bourke-White with pure literary invention, as well as the captivating photos that illustrate this sweeping, glorious novel will confound readers into believing that this bold, brilliant woman photographer did have a place in history. Simply stunning.— Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI --Beth Andersen (Reviewed August 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 13, p77)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10440293
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1952-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Boyd, William
Dewey number
823.92
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • portraits
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6052.O9192
LC item number
S94 2015
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Women
  • Women photographers
  • War photographers
  • World War, 1939-1945
Target audience
adult
Label
Sweet caress : the many lives of Amory Clay, William Boyd
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
ix, 449 pages
Isbn
9781632863324
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, portraits
System control number
  • 898419330
  • (OCoLC)898419330
Label
Sweet caress : the many lives of Amory Clay, William Boyd
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First U.S. edition.
Extent
ix, 449 pages
Isbn
9781632863324
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, portraits
System control number
  • 898419330
  • (OCoLC)898419330

Library Locations

    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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