He was educated in schools in Britain, Spain and the USA, and graduated from Exeter College, Oxford, with First Class Honours in English. He wrote and published his first novel, The Rachel Papers (1973), while working as an editorial assistant at the Times Literary Supplement. The novel won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1974 and was followed by Dead Babies in 1975. He was Literary Editor of the New Statesman between 1977 and 1979, publishing his third novel, Success, in 1978. Regarded by many critics as one of the most influential and innovative voices in contemporary British fiction, Amis is often grouped with the generation of British-based novelists that emerged during the 1980s and included Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes. His work has been heavily influenced by American fiction, especially the work of Philip Roth, John Updike and Saul Bellow. A loose trilogy of novels set in London begins with Money: A Suicide Note (1984), a satire of Thatcherite amorality and greed, continues with London Fields (1989), and concludes with The Information (1995), a tale of literary rivalry. Time's Arrow (1991), was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. Other books include Night Train (1997), a pastiche of American detective fiction, an acclaimed volume of autobiography, Experience (2000) - winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize - and Koba the Dread, a non-fiction work about communism in the twentieth century (2002).
Amis is also the author of several collections of essays, including The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America (1986), Visiting Mrs Nabokov and Other Excursions (1993), and The War Against Cliché (2001), which includes essays and book reviews. His two collections of short stories are Einstein's Monsters (1987), and Heavy Water and Other Stories (1998). House of Meetings (2006), takes the form of a novella and two short stories, and The Second Plane (2008), is a book of essays and short stories.
He is a regular contributor to numerous newspapers, magazines and journals, including the Sunday Times, The Observer, the Times Literary Supplement and the New York Times. He was awarded an honorary LittD by the University of East Anglia in 2000, and was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester until 2011.
His books include The Pregnant Widow (2010), Lionel Asbo: State of England (2012), London Fields (2014), The Zone of Interest (2014), and The Rub of Time (2018). Martin Amis lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Martin Amis explains why the biggest challenge of free speech is learning to use it responsibly.
Writers need to understand their role in the storytelling process, says bestselling author Martin Amis.