British author Martin Amis spoke about his experiences in penning the scandalous sexual scenes in his latest novel “The Pregnant Widow” last night during a rare reading by the venerated scribe in Union Square last night.
“The climactic sexual scene in this book is pornographic in nature and that was the easiest part to write about because emotion is divorced from it,” Amis told a crowd at Barnes & Noble Wednesday night.
Amis describes “The Pregnant Widow” as a story about a man in his early 20s overcoming “the sexual revolution.” The semi-autobiographical novel was originally due out in 2008, but underwent a series of edits and alterations delaying its release date until this year.
“There has to come a point where you say, ‘I’m not going to speculate about what 20-year-olds think about sex’ because it's just not right,” Amis said.
Amis said he reads books by authors of his same age, his father’s age, or a generation behind his father.
“Reading the latest contemporary writers who are 24 is nothing I want to do,” Amis said. “They don’t have a large enough repertoire of work yet.”
“The Pregnant Widow” is Amis' 14th book, but he said he still faces a firing squad of critics.
Amis also had some advice for those considering writing a book.
“If you are thinking of writing your first novel, I have a rule to cheer you up,” Amis said. “Remember that your first novel won’t be perfect. You need to forget about perfection and you need to trust your own voice.”