What is the time of light

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Translated from the English by Eva Bonné. In her debut novel, Whitney Scharer tells about the life of the photographer Lee Miller. She portrays the Parisian bohemians of the 1930s, Lee Miller's love affair with Man Ray and her work as a war reporter. Above all, however, it shows a woman who refused to stand in someone's shadow and who asserted herself as a confident artist: "I would rather take a picture than be one" - Lee Miller realized this at the age of twenty-two Years, so she gives up her modeling career in New York to move to Paris. She has no money or a plan, but a camera with which she explores the French capital. In the midst of the dazzling artistic world of the thirties, she falls in love with the ingenious and jealous Man Ray, who hires her as an assistant and teaches her in his studio. Her friends are Picasso and Cocteau, they dance the nights with them and go on trips to the sea. Above all, however, Lee struggles to be taken seriously as an artist in this world of male geniuses. She only became famous in the war years and with the photographs she took in defeated Germany ...

Review note on Deutschlandfunk, November 22, 2019

Julia Friese is annoyed by the image of women in Whitney Scharer's story of the relationship between the photo artist Lee Miller and Man Ray. According to Friese, the author only models what a story of emancipation could have been based on external effects, as a histo-fiction with a touch of eroticism. What Scharer imagines as a plot partly through Miller's photos, partly along the names of places and artists, is not enough for Friese. The figure's world of thought and the Parisian bohemia of the 20s and 30s remain equally pale for her. To show Miller as a woman at the mercy of men without development is doing the artist a disservice, says Friese.

Review note on Die Welt, 10/26/2019

Emeli Glaser is heartbroken: Whitney Scharer turns the eventful life of photographer Lee Miller into a kitsch novel! The fact that the author cannibalizes Miller's love affair with Man Ray in Paris in the twenties is still an issue for Glaser. That she writes about it like an old man with sex fantasies in the darkroom, laden with clichés and with a permanently blushing main character, Glaser considers a scandal, especially in the face of this emancipated woman.