The Burning Library: Essays

The Burning Library: Essays

by Edmund White
     
 

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Along with his groundbreaking essays that redefine politics, language, identity, and friendship in the light of gay experience and desire, this magisterial collection of 25 years of White's nonfiction writings includes dazzling subversive appreciations of cultural icons as diverse as Truman Capote and Cormac McCarthy, Robert Mapplethorpe and the singer formerly known… See more details below

Overview

Along with his groundbreaking essays that redefine politics, language, identity, and friendship in the light of gay experience and desire, this magisterial collection of 25 years of White's nonfiction writings includes dazzling subversive appreciations of cultural icons as diverse as Truman Capote and Cormac McCarthy, Robert Mapplethorpe and the singer formerly known as Prince. Reading tour.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Selections gathered from 25 years of White's nonfiction writings, with an emphasis on recent developments in gay experience and White's reviews of a variety of contemporary writers. (Nov.)
Library Journal
While White is best known for his novels, particularly A Boy's Own Story (LJ 9/1/82), this collection reveals what a fine essayist he is. White's descriptions of gay male life of the past 30 years and the changes in attitude that have occurred among gay men toward themselves and their sexuality are clear, forceful, intelligent, and thought-provoking. Nongays can learn much about the American gay male experience. White offers other essays and reviews of the work of contemporary writers, American and European, gay and nongay, such as James Merrill, Christina Stead, Darryl Pinckney, and Marguerite Yourcenar. This material, together with White's discussions of his own fiction, provides valuable insights into the reading and writing of literature. Six of the essays are previously unpublished. Highly recommended for literature collections.-Judy Mimken, Boise, Id.
Ray Olson
The doyen of his now middle-aged generation of gay novelists, White writes seductively well. He is facile, amusing, chatty, convivial, accessibly intellectual--in short, he possesses just the qualities that make his cultural journalism, of which this book affords a generous sampling spanning 25 years, delightful even when it is annoyingly elitist and superficial. The contents here are about two-thirds profiles and exceedingly mild critiques of writers and the occasional practitioner in another medium (Robert Mapplethorpe, Prince) and one-third commentary on gay male culture, which White understands to be a province inhabited by himself and his New York circle of randy esthetes and virtually no one else. Whenever the narrowness of his perspectives on gays gets insufferable, you can turn to his remarks on Truman Capote or James Schuyler, on James Jones or Cormac McCarthy, on Christina Stead or Marguerite Yourcenar, and be painlessly enlightened.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307764539
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/22/2010
Series:
Vintage International
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
1,287,688
File size:
2 MB

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