City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s

City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s

by Edmund White
4.8 6

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City Boy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Reviews of books which give it five stars are not very helpful when it is clear that the "reviewer" didn't read the book. But I did read it. It's full of interesting anecdotes from New York's literary and gay history. I enjoyed it a lot. White does not shy from criticizing himself. His experiences provide a window on a scene that most of us could never have experienced.
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Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
For openers to readers who opt to add another book by Edmund White to their library comes this quotation from John Irving: 'Edmund White, a master of the erotic confession, is our most accomplished triathlete of prose - a novelist, biographer, and memoirist. Truly, no other American writer of my generation manages to be all three with such personal passion and veracity.' Strong praise from one of the country's finest writers, but in this reader's opinion, well earned. CITY BOY contains every aspect of what we have grown to expect - and yet be consistently surprised at his constancy - from White. His novels - 'A Boy's Own Story', 'The Farewell Symphony', 'The Beautiful Room is Empty', 'The Married Man', 'Hotel de Dream' etc - his well researched, highly regarded biographies - 'Genet', 'Marcel Proust', 'Rimbaud', etc - and his essays and thoughtful meanderings - 'The Darker Proof', 'The Flâneur', 'My Lives', etc - are always delivered with some of the most elegant prose being written today. And the same goes of CITY BOY. Edmund White shares life in that pointedly transitional period of the 1960s and 1970s, a time when the country and especially New York City grappled with the unpopular war in Vietnam and the equally unpopular rise of the gay liberation movement. White was present for Stonewall and relates the atmosphere of the streets and the population both before and after. And as if this weren't enough history to essay he adds the changes that were happening in the fields of the arts and of literature. Using a bit of reality as a clever way to focus on the transformation of New York, White shares his experiences with his travels abroad to Italy: his commentary on the rich and famous of Venice, especially the strange creature that was Peggy Guggenheim, is peppered with incidents and alterations of the influences of world events on the people who chronicled them. As part of this memoirization of the times he includes his own frustrations of having his first novel published and the subsequent growth in stature as a writer that he enjoyed. New York changed during this time, for better and for worse, and at the end of the book Edmund White touches on the plague of AIDS that would once again metamorphose the his city and his world. White's gift is to find the balance between sharing information, relate rollicking tales, and find both sides of the masks of comedy and tragedy and present the entire picture for the audience's musing. He is a classy writer, one that never lets the reader down. Grady Harp
FrankPizzoli More than 1 year ago
By Frank Pizzoli I had the pleasure of interviewing Edmund White in his Chelsea apartment for Lambda Book Report, Summer 2007. Besides reviewing his "Chaos, A Novella and Stories," he vigorously answered questions about 1970s NYC, pre- and post-AIDS, the subject of his newest book "City Boy". Friendly and down to earth (he made us a pot of his favorite tea and served it himself with dried fruit), he is sleepless in his enthusism for his many projects. I felt immediately comfortable in his living room and I'm sure readers, whether from the 1970s era or younger, will feel that same accessibilty. Edmund White Interview available upon request from fpizzoli@aol.com