Gay Fiction Speaks: Conversations with Gay Novelists

By Richard Canning | Go to book overview

THREE
EDMUND WHITE

Edmund White has been much praised by fellow writers and figures in the literary establishment since his first novel, Forgetting Elena, first caught the attention of Vladimir Nabokov nearly thirty years ago. To many gay readers, White remained better known until the early 1980s as the author of an innovative book of gay travel writing—States of Desire—and coauthor of The Joy of Gay Sex. This changed with the breakthrough success—both in the United States and Great Britain—of the first of White’s semiautobiographical fictions, A Boy’s Own Story, in 1982. Born in 1940 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised there and in Chicago, White majored in Chinese at the University of Michigan. He moved to New York on graduating, working for Time-Life Books from 1962 to 1970. White then lived in Rome for a year, before returning to New York and briefly working for Saturday Review and Horizon.

White was writing prose and plays from an early age. His first published novel, Forgetting Elena (New York: Random House, 1973), was an elaborately written work of fantasy set on an imaginary island. Though critically well-received, the book sold sparingly. In 1977, White raised his profile among gay readers by coauthoring The Joy of Gay Sex (New York: Crown, 1977) with Dr. Charles Silverstein. A second novel, the equally baroque Nocturnes for the King of Naples (New York: St. Martin’s, 1978), received much attention and praise. Nocturnes self-consciously invoked the school of religious devotional literature, though it could equally, if implicitly, be

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Gay Fiction Speaks: Conversations with Gay Novelists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Between Men ~ between Women v
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction xvii
  • One - James Purdy 1
  • Two - John Rechy 41
  • Three - Edmund White 75
  • Four - Andrew Holleran 113
  • Five - Armistead Maupin 151
  • Six - Felice Picano 185
  • Seven - Allan Gurganus 225
  • Eight - Ethan Mordden 261
  • Nine - Dennis Cooper 297
  • Ten - Alan Hollinghurst 331
  • Eleven - David Leavitt 367
  • Twelve - Patrick Gale 399
  • Between Men ~ between Women 441
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