Edmund White: The Burning World is the first biography of the novelist whose personal life reflects the course of gay history in America in the last half of the twentieth century.
Born in Cincinnati in 1940 and raised in Evanston, White arrived in New York City in 1962, tortured by the knowledge of his homosexuality. Working by day as a staff writer for Time-Life, he secretly cruised the West Village past nightfall. To appreciate White's life is to understand the formative years of gay liberation, for White--who was a participant at the original Stonewall event--experienced all of the ecstasy and abandonment that came to characterize this first generation of post-Stonewall gay men.
Yet while many gay men of his era took to politics, White himself chose to record the extraordinary social and sexual revolution of which he was a prime participant through literature and novels. Whether writing about Fire Island in Forgetting Elena or about gay social revolution in America in States of Desire, White capture the energy and the emotions of an underground culture which had finally thrown off the shackles of its repression. And in A Boy's Own Summer, White helped to define the coming-out novel as a new gay genre.
With complete access to all of White's files and materials, Stephen Barber has created an extraordinary testament to the life of one of America's most respected literary artists.
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In a strip cartoon drawn by Edmund White's lover Hubert Sorin, published in a literary magazine in 1991, White is depicted reading aloud from one of his novels, a typically carnal passage: "Lou tried to turn me into the man, but I was too affectionate in a puppy-dog way...Jan 22 2005 | Read Full Review of Edmund White: The Burning World
A vivid prose stylist and a premier chronicler of gay life, gay desire and gay liberation, Edmund White has achieved renown as a novelist and as a nonfiction writer.| Read Full Review of Edmund White: The Burning World