The Unpunished Vice by Edmund White
A Life of Reading

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

White’s book is a collection of essays, each connecting the seemingly thousands of books he has read – I find it impossible to imagine anyone better read than White, though with typical modesty he insists he knows lots of people who are...
-Guardian

Synopsis

A new memoir from acclaimed author Edmund White about his life as a reader.

Literary icon Edmund White made his name through his writing but remembers his life through the books he has read. For White, each momentous occasion came with a book to match: Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, which opened up the seemingly closed world of homosexuality while he was at boarding school in Michigan; the Ezra Pound poems adored by a lover he followed to New York; the biography of Stephen Crane that inspired one of White's novels. But it wasn't until heart surgery in 2014, when he temporarily lost his desire to read, that White realized the key role that reading played in his life: forming his tastes, shaping his memories, and amusing him through the best and worst life had to offer.

Blending memoir and literary criticism, The Unpunished Vice is a compendium of all the ways reading has shaped White's life and work. His larger-than-life presence on the literary scene lends itself to fascinating, intimate insights into the lives of some of the world's best-loved cultural figures. With characteristic wit and candor, he recalls reading Henry James to Peggy Guggenheim in her private gondola in Venice and phone calls at eight o'clock in the morning to Vladimir Nabokov--who once said that White was his favorite American writer.

Featuring writing that has appeared in the New York Review of Books and the Paris Review, among others, The Unpunished Vice is a wickedly smart and insightful account of a life in literature.

 

About Edmund White

See more books from this Author
Edmund White is the author of many novels, including A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, The Farewell Symphony, and, most recently, Hotel de Dream. His nonfiction includes City Boy and other memoirs; The Flâneur, about Paris; and literary biographies and essays. White lives in New York and teaches at Princeton.
 
Published June 26, 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Unpunished Vice
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 03 2018

Throughout, White’s reflections are just as lucid as they are fascinating and just as compelling as they are bountiful. A literary delicacy with more takeaways than one can count.

Read Full Review of The Unpunished Vice: A Life o... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Rachel Cooke on Jul 02 2018

White’s book is a collection of essays, each connecting the seemingly thousands of books he has read – I find it impossible to imagine anyone better read than White, though with typical modesty he insists he knows lots of people who are...

Read Full Review of The Unpunished Vice: A Life o... | See more reviews from Guardian

Rate this book!

Add Review
×