Lee Miller

Debut Historical Novel Inspires Huge Bidding War

The Age of Light, the debut novel by Whitney Scharer, is a historical romance novel set in Paris, following famed fashion and fine art photographer Lee Miller and her passionate relationship with Man Ray. It was also the center of a huge bidding war this week.


Lee Miller

Lee Miller, real human person. | Image via Museu Picasso


The interest the book’s picked up is phenomenal. Scharer’s agent, Julie Barer, started sending the book to publishers last Wednesday morning, and told Entertainment Weekly that before finishing the submission calls she had multiple interested parties. Scharer eventually received thirteen bids on the book. The Age of Light was sold to Little, Brown and Company for upwards of $1 million and will be published in early 2019.


Barer went on to describe the widespread appeal of the book. “I think what makes Whitney’s novel so special is that it’s very accessible, so it has the commercial potential to reach a broad audience, but it is also gorgeously written with great psychological sophistication,” she said. “One editor described it as the kind of book that is both ‘what women want to read and what they need to read.’”


Judy Clain, the editor who acquired the book, agrees. “Once in a rare while, a debut novel comes along that feels essential to publish … the elements here are all irresistible: Paris, a great love story, a woman who is not defined by a man, a story of reinvention, and a page-turner to boot.”


When Scharer announced her book on her blog, writing, “I’m still adjusting to the idea that I’m going to be a published novelist.”


Celeste Ng, acclaimed author of Little Fires Everywhere, is also a big fan.



Even though we won’t see The Age of Light on shelves for another year, we can’t wait to read this one!


Featured image via Famous Photographers.