A (Now) Open Letter to Martin Amis

By Teddy Hempstead

Originally an email sent to all three of his agents on the 8th of July 2016, 32 years after the publication of his seminal 1984 novel ‘Money’.

Good evening,

A strange request, and I’m sorry to bother you with it, but I can think of no other obvious recourse. Martin Amis is on your books I know, and I’m trying to get in touch with him (email would do – much as I prefer letters, an address is a bit much to hope for). Obviously his contact information isn’t available on the public web; hence this unsolicited request. Worry not: I’ll try to offer some explanatory context.

Some time ago, before Christopher Hitchens died, I met him quite by chance in a London pub garden (he’d just finished an interview) and found it irresistible to say hello. We ended up having a relatively lengthy drink – intercut with approaches from various fellow admirers – during the course of which we discussed Amis, who I’d read little of, and who he was shortly going to see. After some probing about my tastes/loves/fears/desires he recommended in strong terms Amis’ novel Money (alongside a near-limitless list of books not by Amis, including his own) and suggested I contact Martin Amis after I’d read it, saying pensively “he would find you interesting”. In the intervening time a lot has happened. Among them, Christopher has died and I have finally read Money. While I’m no admirer of fanmail, I feel I’m writing on a fairly specific invitation from a close and dear friend of Mr. Amis, and as such am reaching out to you without too many qualms to try to find a manner of contacting him. If you feel uneasy, perhaps you could ask Mr. Amis himself if it would be alright to furnish me with his email – I feel sure he’d have no objection, though of course what I feel sure of and what is true often differ markedly. I also think I recall Christopher Hitchens mentioned that he would let Mr. Amis know that I might contact him, though whether this happened and whether he would remember are different matters entirely.

I’m grateful for your time spent reading this – perhaps I could have made the request shorter, but I wanted to give my entreaty the weight of context. I hope to hear from you soon,

Teddy Hempstead

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