THE AGE OF LIGHT
*Boston Globe bestseller*
*People Pick of the Week*
*Amazon February Book of the Month selection*
*February Indie Next Selection*
*Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick*
Most anticipated book of 2019 from Oprah, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Woman’s Day & Pop Sugar
The Age of Light tells the 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. Lee’s journey takes 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.
"Rapturous and razor sharp"
“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. Whitney Scharer is a stunning new discovery. This novel sparks on every page.”
—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin
"A startlingly modern love story"
“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 1930s 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 to artist.”
– Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You
"Powerful, sensual, and gripping"
“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 and The Song of Achilles
“A masterpiece, The Age of Light is a searing, evocative novel of love and war, and a woman’s fierce determination to transcend her role as muse and remake the world through her own art. Whitney Scharer is a remarkably gifted storyteller—a major new voice in historical fiction.”
—Dawn Tripp, bestselling author of Georgia and Game of Secrets
"A bold, intimate, and gorgeous novel"
“The Age of Light is a bold, intimate, and gorgeous novel—at once a vivid romp through the salons and parties of the Paris art world in the 1930s and a breathtaking close-up of a woman battling to be both muse and artist, lover and collaborator, and, above all, herself. This is a relevant, utterly enthralling debut from a talented writer who understands the complex intersection of ambition and femininity. I was swept off my feet.”
—Jessica Shattuck, New York Times bestselling author of The Women in the Castle and The Hazards of Good Breeding
"Uplifting, heartbreaking, and altogether immersive"
“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, 1930s 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
"A captivating portrait"
“Scharer’s scrupulous research and dazzling prose fuse to create a captivating portrait of the little-known – but now unforgettable – Lee Miller, whose exceptional beauty, bold conviction, and rare talent disrupted the male-centric art scene of 1920’s Paris.”
—Georgia Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of We Were The Lucky Ones
Whitney holds a BA in English Literature from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. Her first novel, The Age of Light, based on the life of pioneering photographer Lee Miller, is forthcoming from Little, Brown (US) and Picador (UK) in February, 2019. She lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA.