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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)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Farewell Symphony (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Writer and the City Books

The Flaneur (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Florence, a Delicate Case (By: David Leavitt) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prague Pictures (By: John Banville) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now (By: Patrick McGrath) (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Oxford Revisited: A City Revisited (By: Justin Cartwright) (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Forgetting Elena (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nocturnes for the King of Naples (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Caracole (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Married Man (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fanny (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hotel de Dream (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jack Holmes and His Friend (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Young Man (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Saint from Texas (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Previous Life (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Humble Lover (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

Publication Order of Collections

The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skinned Alive (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chaos (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Graphic Novels

with Michael Carroll, Brian Alessandro
Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story: The Graphic Novel (With: Michael Carroll,Brian Alessandro) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

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

Publication Order of Adam Mars-Jones Collections

with Adam Mars-Jones
Lantern Lecture and Other Stories (By: Adam Mars-Jones) (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fabrications (By: Adam Mars-Jones) (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Darker Proof (With: Adam Mars-Jones) (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Monopolies of Loss (By: Adam Mars-Jones) (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Personal Dispatches: Writers Confront AIDS(1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flesh and the Word: An Anthology of Erotic Writing(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Hearts Desire(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vintage Book of Amnesia(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fresh Men: New Voices in Gay Fiction(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Proust Project(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times In Today's New York(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
OutWrite(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Queer Ideas: The David R. Kessler Lectures from 1992–2001(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

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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