“Over there, east of Arcadia,” he said. “is celestial … was. “This is the sensation of living during the 1950s.” The author, 63 years of age, is dressed in pink, dark low garnetted kid’s pants and footwear for a child–shining shoes. In vertical terms he holds “very contentious and just five feet,” as he posted into the words approximating his novel for 2011, “Widowed.” Beauty, highly contentious, no longer young, he is crushed into soil from age with little égâts. “One of the choices regarding Brooklyn is that you know Manhattan.
«Là-bas, à l’est d’Arcadie», me dit-il. «C’est céleste … ‘était.” C’est la sensation de vivre dans les années 1950. “L’écrivain, âgé de 63 ans, est vêtue de rose, noir bas effilochés pantalons et chaussures pour enfants cireur de chaussures. Verticalement, il tient “seulement des territoires très litigieuses de cinq pieds six pouces à cinq pieds sept pouces», comme il l’a écrit en mots approchant le caractère au sein de son roman en 2011, «La grossesse veuve.” Sa beauté, très controversée, pas jeune est écrasée dans le sol de l’âge avec égâts petits. “L’un des choix au sujet de Brooklyn, c’est que vous voyez Manhattan.
The 63-year-old author was wearing a frayed pink shirt, black pants and black boots. In height he occupies “that much-disputed territory between five foot six and five foot seven,” as he wrote of the character Keith Nearing in his 2011 novel, “The Pregnant Widow.” His much-discussed youthful beauty has crashed on the shore of late middle age without too much damage.
“One of the things I like about Brooklyn is you see Manhattan from a distance,” Mr. Amis said. “And it’s magnificent: what a work of man that is. And every time I see it … And then you visit it and come back here.”
A few weeks earlier, Mr. Amis had eulogized his best friend, Christopher Hitchens, across the East River at a memorial service at Cooper Union in Manhattan. A friendship that he described as “perfectly cloudless — it is a love whose month is ever May,” had come to an end last December when Mr. Hitchens succumbed at 62 to cancer.
“Saul Bellow said there’s no reason to visit the dead, because they visit you,” Mr. Amis said as he drank white wine in his parlor. Mr. Hitchens, he said, “is always appearing in my dreams. Not with anything particular to say. He’s just around the place.”
When Mr. Amis and his second wife, the American writer Isabel Fonseca, 50, bought the 5,300-square-foot brownstone on Strong Place in Cobble Hill last year for $2.5 million, it was the most stunning infusion of macho literary firepower to the borough since Norman Mailer. The couple lives there with their teenage daughters, Fernanda and Clio.
“Best address I’ve ever had,” he said. “It’s a good spondee. Strong. Place. You can’t stress one or the other. Two big stresses.” Asked if the neighbors know he’s there, the author said he is recognized on the street about once every two weeks.
And while Mr. Amis probably won’t be satirizing artisanal cheeses, Bugaboo strollers and the Park Slope Food Co-op anytime soon (he has been working on a novel set in a Nazi concentration camp), he never considered living in Manhattan. “It’s too noisy,” he said. “The city that never sleeps? Well, the city whose inhabitants never sleep, that’s what it is. Terrible, self-righteous municipal clangings and bangings at 3 o’clock in the morning. And the girls, they were always going to go to St. Ann’s, the famous progressive school.”
Mr. Amis came to know Brooklyn slightly by visiting from London at a cousin of Ms. Fonseca’s for Christmas dinners. The couple has also spent summers in East Hampton, where Ms. Fonseca’s mother owns a two-bedroom house and some cabins in a potato field. And when Mr. Amis covered tennis for The New Yorker in the 1990s, he thrilled to the guttural United States Open crowd at Flushing Meadows.
Even before he moved to this country, Mr. Amis nursed a fascination with it in his fiction and journalism. He titled his 1986 collection of pieces about America “The Moronic Inferno,” a phrase he took from his friend Saul Bellow.
These days, he can’t take his eyes off the presidential race, in particular “the incredible convulsions of the Republican Party,” he said. “It’s completely fascinating. What a great time to be coming to America.
“Is Mitt Romney electable?” he continued. “On the face of it, he looks presidential and he’s not stupid. But he lets himself down hideously whenever he has a victory. He looks as if he’s had five grams of coke — he’s shaking with a power rush. And that was always the most impressive thing about Obama: how he didn’t let that happen to himself. As if he didn’t feel it.”
Mr. Amis also knows something about playing it cool. It’s been 38 years since he proved to the world he wasn’t just the heartthrob son of the celebrated comic novelist Kingsley Amis by publishing “The Rachel Papers,” a novel that still sends would-be fiction writers into twisted bedsheets of self-loathing.
He followed with the novels “Money,” “London Fields” and “The Information,” each of which hoisted him higher. He became not only the talk of the town but also the life of the party — a particularly quick-tongued party of rising British writers including Mr. Hitchens, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and the poet James Fenton.