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D'Amato, Brian

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1962-    ) US sculptor, painter and author, son of Barbara D'Amato (1938-    ) and Anthony D'Amato (1937-2018), both writers; his essay on L Frank Baum's Oz, "The Wooden Gargoyles: Evil in Oz" – which was published as an afterword to his mother's mystery novel, Hard Road: A Cat Marsala Mystery (2001) – sharply but sympathetically examines some of the darker implications of Baum's work. D'Amato's first novel, Beauty (1992), grippingly narrates its narrator's seductive but obsessional need to control – to immortalize – his own physical appearance and the "beauty" of three women through plastic surgery, in the end utterly redesigning the face of his lover through the use of an artificial skin compound called PCS 10, and Computer imaging which, along with other technologies cited here, have become realities. His lover is now a beauty in the style of quattrocento paintings, but caught in the coils of a New York of poisonous surfaces comparable (it has been noted) to that created by Brett Easton Ellis in American Psycho (1991). In the end, her cancer-caused transformation into a vengeful Monster clearly relates the tale to more closely to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), or to the great horror film Les Yeux sans Visage (1959). The story closes with the narrator's own transformation from Beauty into Beast. The consciousness of the protagonist of In the Courts of the Sun (2009) is sent from a very Near Future America, by a kind of temporal Identity Transfer, into the mind of a seventh century Mayan, but not unfortunately the king, who may know how to save the world – due to end 21 December 2012 – but a man about to be sacrificed. The sequel, The Sacrifice Game (2012), was published in July 2012. A projected third volume has not appeared. [JC]

Brian R D'Amato

born Grand Rapids, Michigan: August 1962


The Sacrifice Game

individual titles

  • Beauty (New York: Delacorte Press, 1992) [hb/photographic: Man Ray]


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