The Age of Light
‘Whitney Scharer’s storytelling is utterly immersive and gorgeous in its details . . . This is a powerful, sensual and gripping portrait of the forging of an artist’s soul.’ Madeleine Miller, author of Circe
‘I’d rather take a photograph than be one,’ says Lee Miller, shortly after she arrives in Paris in 1929. Gorgeous and talented, Lee has left behind a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of being an artist. There she catches the eye of the famous Surrealist artist Man Ray. An egotistical, charismatic force, Lee is drawn to him immediately. Though he initially wants to use her as a model, Lee is determined to become Man’s photography assistant instead.
As their personal and professional lives become further entwined, Lee is consumed by two desires: to become a famous photographer and to have a healthy and loving relationship. But as Lee asserts herself and moves from being a muse to an artist, Man’s jealousy spirals out of control, and their mutual betrayals threaten to destroy them both.
Richly detailed and filled with a cast of famous characters, The Age of Light is a captivating historical novel about ambition, love, and the personal price of making art. In exploring Lee’s complicated and fascinating history, Whitney Scharer has brought a brilliant and pioneering artist out of the shadow of a man’s story and into the light.
In the media
In incandescent prose, Whitney Scharer has created an unforgettable heroine discovering her passion, her independence, and her art—and what she must sacrifice to have them. Sweeping from the glamour of 1920s Paris through the battlefields of World War II and into the war’s long shadow, The Age Of Light is a startlingly modern love story and a mesmerizing portrait of a woman’s self-transformation from muse into artist.
Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere
Whitney Scharer’s storytelling is utterly immersive and gorgeous in its details, transporting you into Lee Miller’s life, and her struggles to be taken seriously in a man’s world. This is a powerful, sensual and gripping portrait of the forging of an artist’s soul.
Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author of Circe
An extraordinary young woman discovers love and art and betrayal among the artists of 1930s Paris and documents the horrors of war through her singular camera lens. An uplifting, heartbreaking and altogether immersive read.
Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Before The War and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
When I first read THE AGE OF LIGHT, I thought it might have been written expressly for me, since it has everything I love in it: photography, sex, love, war, 1920s Paris, a relationship struggle between two artists, a woman’s journey from model to photographer, and the most exquisite writing. Then I realized: this magnetic, addictive novel will beguile every reader. Read it, read it!
Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family