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Edmund White Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Edmund Trilogy Books

A Boy's Own Story (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Farewell Symphony (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Writer and the City Books

The Flaneur (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Prague Pictures (By:John Banville) (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Forgetting Elena (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nocturnes for the King of Naples (1978)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Caracole (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Married Man (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fanny (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hotel de Dream (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jack Holmes and His Friend (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Young Man (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Saint from Texas (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Previous Life (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

Terre Haute (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Skinned Alive (1995)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Chaos (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

States of Desire (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Genet (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Burning Library (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Paris: Sketches from Memory (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Marcel Proust (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Loss within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Arts and Letters (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
My Lives (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sacred Monsters (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unpunished Vice (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Fresh Men: New Voices in Gay Fiction(2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Proust Project(2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Edmund White is a literary fiction and nonfiction author of short fiction, and novels, whose works are focused on the homosexual life in the United States. White is primarily a student of the evolving attitudes towards homosexuality in America and the impact this has had on homosexual communities and on HIV/AIDS. He chronicles his findings in his many works, some of which have become important works in the analysis of the social and sociological history of the United States. The author is the second of two siblings born to industrial equipment seller father and child psychologist mother. At only seven years old, his parents got a divorce and he went to live with his sister and mother in Evanston, Illinois. He would then go to Michigan to attend boarding school before he joined the University of Michigan. He graduated in 1962 with a degree in Chinese and was invited to continue his pursuit of Chinese at Harvard. However, Edmund decided to follow his male lover to New York, where he immersed himself in the then burgeoning gay culture of the city. During this time, he found a job at Life-Time Books, where he was staff writer. Not long after that, he became associate editor at “Horizon” and senior editor at the “Saturday Review.”
White made his publishing debut with the publishing of “Forgetting Elena” that came out in 1973. The satirical novel is told from the perspective of an innocent young man that reveals the rituals and intricate manners of the homosexual lifestyle in New York’s Fire Island. The novel and what would follow established the author as one of the leading voices writing about homosexual issues in the US. The 1978 published “Nocturnes for the King of Naples” tells of the affair between two lovers following the death of one of them. It was a time when HIV/AIDS became a scourge on the homosexual community, killing scores of Edmund’s friends. In 1981, he teamed up with Larry Kramer the playwright to establish the “Gay Men’s Health Crisis.” According to White, the body was formed to help victims of HIV/AIDS cope. During this time, Susan Sontag his friend recommended him for a Guggenheim fellowship and soon after completing it he moved to Paris. White would spend much of the eighties shuttling between Paris and New York. It was in 1985 that he realized he had been infected and became one of the very first public figures to talk openly about his status.

On the scholarly front, Edmund White was a Johns Hopkins assistant professor, then a Columbia University School Adjunct professor and a Brown University professor. In 1998 he got a job at Princeton University as professor until his retirement in 2018. During his many years in academia, he had served as New York Institute for the Humanities as a director and was also the director of the Princeton creative writing program. His work has been featured in notable publications such as Architectural Digest and Mother Jones. White was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the French L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2016 White was awarded the Saul Bellow/PEN Award for Achievement and was named the state author for New York State.

“A Boy’s Own Story” by Edmund White is the tale of an adolescent boy that is a picture of the author as he grew up in the America of the 1950s. The narrator is struggling with his sexuality, even as he has to deal with a lack of friends, a cruel sister and distant parents. The novel provides insights into homosexual life during a time when it was believed to be a sickness that could be cured by priests or doctors. The coming of age narrative is full of shame and yearning from the young narrator. He longs to be loved by his peers, teachers and father who are the significant men in his life. He also has to give the impression of being straight. At fifteen years old, Kevin who is one of the sons of the guests that had come to see his father asks him about his experiences with the fairer sex. The boy had none but pretended to have had several before the two engage in sexual activity. It was an experience he had always longed for but also a reflection of the intimacy and curiosity for pleasure in young boys. A major point is when the narrator realizes that love making can mean receiving as well as giving pleasure.

Edmund White’s “The Beautiful Room is Empty” is another story set in Midwest America during the 1950s. At the start of the story, we are introduced to the seventeen year old narrator who is a student at Eton Boarding School. It is a copycat Eton across the street somewhere in the remote reaches of the Midwest with no relation to the real Ivy League school. The students from the two institutions hardly mingle until the narrator decides to make the crossing and be different. He meets an artistic student named Maria and wishes he could fall in love and not be gay. At that time the most heinous crimes in the States were heroin, communism and homosexuality. In nearby Detroit, William Everett is a cock crazy maniacal law student who likes them beer can thick but short. There is also the bookseller Tex and his unpaid clerk Mason, Lou the narrators lover and another maniac named Sean who can go so insane he is unable to control himself. The narrator then tells of the summer following his freshman year at University when his business minded and humorless father tried to get the gay out of him by torturing him with a flood of yard work.

“The Farewell Symphony” by Edmund White tells of a man that outlived most of his peers. It is six months since his lover died and he goes on a quest for remembrance that tells of his struggle towards finding a career in authorship and how hard it was to live as a gay man. Set in the 1960 with a timeline to the modern day, it is a conversational and witty story that transports us to moments of hilarity in the Paris Salons to the erotic scenes in the backstage of clubs in New York to the American Midwest where moments of family truth abound. On the journey is a breathtaking account of near misses, personal connections that slowly but surely paints a picture of loss and love, and genuine friendship that results in an unforgettable experience of a dying man. As the story takes us across space, time and society, the story of the lead grows to impact that of an entire generation. It is an elegiac but sublimely funny story full of incisive social observation yet infused with deeply felt compassion and wisdom. It is a wholly original and stunning panorama of gay lifestyles over the past three decades that is certainly the crowning achievement for Edmund White.

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