People: Amis seeks fresher fields in America

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The Independent Online
In an announcement which distinctly underwhelmed the literary world, Martin Amis yesterday confirmed he is planning to abandon London in favour of New York. But not just yet.

The novelist said he is attracted to the United States because the country is more "dynamic and vibrant" than Britain and therefore more stimulating for someone in his profession.

"It is where history is being written, it's the one major superpower left in the world," he said. "It is more like a world than a country and that would be an exciting place for a writer to be."

Despite this desire to move, Amis, 48, says he will wait three or four years until his children Louis, 13, and Jacob, 11, from his marriage to Antonia Phillips, are older. He also has a baby daughter, Fernanda, by his current partner, New York writer Isobel Fonseca.

Literary figures were puzzled by the news yesterday. "He and Isobel already spend a lot of time in New York anyway," said one. "So it will hardly mean a major change."

Amis, whose novel Night Train has just been published to mixed reviews, explicity denied reports that he is leaving because of the British media and its seeming fascination with the writer's private life.

In recent years Amis has been criticised over the size of his writing fees and an operation reported to have cost pounds 14,000 to straighten his teeth. Interest has also been fuelled by his divorce and the recent death of his father. But Amis said: "It has nothing to do with the media ... it does not impinge on my life, how could it?"