martin amis

martin amis

2013 Martin Amis BBC Hard Talk Interview Full Programme

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It was death that urged Martin Amis to America -- though not, as reported in parts, some sort of death of the England left behind. "My mother died the year before last, and we were thinking about that," says the novelist, 62, waistcoated, meeting the evening with a bottle of beer in his home in Brooklyn, New York. "My mother-in-law [a Brooklyn resident] was the same age, and her husband of 40 years was ailing too. He died quite suddenly, before we'd even got here. But we'd been thinking for months: they're not going to be here for ever." So Amis and family -- wife Isabel Fonseca, daughters Fernanda and Clio -- left London for New York, at first to commandeer the mother-in-law's floor and later to take up residence in a towering, turn-of-the-20th brownstone in Brooklyn. "There was a half-hearted attempt to make it look as though this was out of disaffection for England," says Amis. "Me saying, 'England can go fuck itself.'" He means newspaper reports, published around the time of the move last summer, that framed it as a demonstrative emigration: a flounce out. "There wasn't an iota of that."