|Born||Edmund Valentine White III|
January 13, 1940
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Notable works||The Joy of Gay Sex , A Boy's Own Story , The Beautiful Room Is Empty , The Farewell Symphony|
Edmund Valentine White III is an American novelist, memoirist, and an essayist on literary and social topics. Much of his writing is on the theme of same-sex love. His books include The Joy of Gay Sex , written with Charles Silverstein (1977); his trilogy of semi-autobiographic novels, A Boy's Own Story (1982), The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988) and The Farewell Symphony (1997); and his biography of Jean Genet.
Edmund Valentine White mostly grew up in Chicago, Illinois.He attended Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, as a boy. Afterward, he studied Chinese at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1962.
Incestuous feelings colored his early family life. His mother, for instance, was sexually attracted to him.White, moreover, spoke of his own attraction to his father: "I think with my father he was somebody who every eye in the family was focused on and he was a sort of a tyrant and nice-looking, the source of all power, money, happiness, and he was implacable and difficult. He was always spoken of in sexual terms, in the sense he left our mother for a much younger woman who was very sexy but had nothing else going for her. He was a famous womanizer. And he slept with my sister!" He has also stated: "Writing has always been my recourse when I've tried to make sense of my experience or when it's been very painful. When I was 15 years old, I wrote my first (unpublished) novel about being gay, at a time when there were no other gay novels. So I was really inventing a genre, and it was a way of administering a therapy to myself, I suppose."
White was at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 when the Stonewall Uprising began.He writes, "Ours may have been the first funny revolution. When someone shouted “Gay is good” in imitation of “Black is beautiful,” we all laughed; at that moment we went from seeing ourselves as a mental illness to thinking we were a minority."
White declined admission to Harvard University's Chinese doctoral program in favor of following a lover to New York, where he worked for eight years as a staffer at Time-Life Books and freelanced for Newsweek . After briefly relocating to Rome and then New York, he was briefly employed as an editor for the Saturday Review when the magazine was based in San Francisco in the early 1970s; after the magazine folded in 1973, White returned to New York to edit Horizon (a quarterly cultural journal) and freelance as a writer and editor for entities, including Time-Life and The New Republic .
White is gay and much of his work draws on his gay experience. His debut novel, Forgetting Elena (1973), set on an island, can be read as commenting on gay culture in a coded manner. The American/Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov called it "a marvelous book".Written with his psychotherapist Charles Silverstein, The Joy of Gay Sex (1977) made him known to a wider readership. His next novel, Nocturnes for the King of Naples (1978) was explicitly gay-themed and drew on his own life.
From 1980 to 1981, White was a member of a gay writers' group, The Violet Quill, that met briefly during that period and included Andrew Holleran and Felice Picano. White's autobiographic works are frank and unapologetic about his promiscuity and his HIV-positive status.
In 1980, he brought out States of Desire, a survey of some aspects of gay life in America. In 1982, he helped found the group Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York City. — the first volume of an autobiographic-fiction series, continuing with The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988) and The Farewell Symphony (1997), describing stages in the life of a gay man from boyhood to middle age. Several characters in the latter novel are recognizably based on well-known people from White's New York-centered literary and artistic milieu.In the same year appeared White's best-known work, A Boy's Own Story
From 1983 to 1990 White lived in France. In 1984 in Paris he was involved in the foundation of the French HIV/AIDS organisation, AIDES. During this period, he brought out his novel, Caracole (1985), which centres on heterosexual relationships. After returning to America White maintained his interest in France and French literature, publishing Genet: a biography (1993), Our Paris: sketches from memory (1995), Marcel Proust (1998), The Flaneur: a stroll through the paradoxes of Paris (2000) and Rimbaud (2008).
The novel The Married Man (2000) is gay-themed and draws on White's life. Fanny: A Fiction (2003) is a historical novel about novelist Frances Trollope and social reformer Frances Wright in early 19th-century America. White's 2006 play Terre Haute (produced in New York City in 2009) portrays discussions that take place when a prisoner, based on terrorist bomber Timothy McVeigh, is visited by a writer based on Gore Vidal. (In real life McVeigh and Vidal corresponded but did not meet.)
In 2005 White published his autobiography, My Lives— organised by theme rather than chronology — and in 2009 his memoir of New York life in the 1960s and 1970s, City Boy.
White has been influential as a literary and cultural critic, particularly on same-sex love and sexuality.[ citation needed ]
He is currently a professor of creative writing in Princeton University's Lewis Center for the Arts.In June 2012, White was reported by his husband, Michael Carroll, to be making 'remarkable' recovery after suffering two strokes in previous months.
He has received many awards and distinctions. Among these he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He received the inaugural Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle in 1989, and is also the namesake of the organization's Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction.
In 2014, Edmund White was presented the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for his contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov, also known by the pen name Vladimir Sirin, was a Russian-American novelist, poet, translator, and entomologist. Born in Russia, he wrote his first nine novels in Russian (1926–1938) while living in Berlin. He achieved international acclaim and prominence after moving to the United States and beginning to write in English. Nabokov became an American citizen in 1945, but he and his wife returned to Europe in 1961, settling in Montreux, Switzerland.
Jeffrey Kent Eugenides is an American novelist and short story writer. He has written numerous short stories and essays, as well as three novels: The Virgin Suicides (1993), Middlesex (2002), and The Marriage Plot (2011). The Virgin Suicides served as the basis of a feature film, while Middlesex received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in addition to being a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International Dublin Literary Award, and France's Prix Médicis.
John Preston was an author of gay erotica and an editor of gay nonfiction anthologies.
Richard Ford is an American novelist and short story writer. His best-known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land and Let Me Be Frank With You, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories. Ford received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1996 for Independence Day. Ford's novel Wildlife was adapted into a 2018 film of the same name. He won the 2018 Park Kyong-ni Prize.
Russell Banks is an American writer of fiction and poetry. As a novelist, Banks is best known for his "detailed accounts of domestic strife and the daily struggles of ordinary often-marginalized characters". His stories usually revolve around his own childhood experiences, and often reflect "moral themes and personal relationships".
Pnin is Vladimir Nabokov's 13th novel and his fourth written in English; it was published in 1957. The success of Pnin in the United States launched Nabokov's career into literary prominence. Its eponymous protagonist, Timofey Pavlovich Pnin, is a Russian-born assistant professor in his 50s living in the United States, whose character is believed to be based partially on the life of both Nabokov's colleague Marc Szeftel as well as on Nabokov himself. Exiled by the Russian Revolution and what he calls the "Hitler war", Pnin teaches Russian at the fictional Waindell College, loosely inspired by Cornell University and Wellesley College—places where Nabokov himself taught.
Sarah Miriam Schulman is an American novelist, playwright, nonfiction writer, screenwriter, gay activist, and AIDS historian. She is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at College of Staten Island (CSI) and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. She is a recipient of the Bill Whitehead Award.
Lesléa Newman, born November 5, 1955 in Brooklyn, New York City, is an American author, editor, and feminist.
Aleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian-American author, essayist, critic, television writer, and screenwriter. He is best known for the novels Nowhere Man (2002) and The Lazarus Project (2008), and his writing for the film as a co-writer of The Matrix Resurrections (2021).
Andrew Sean Greer is an American novelist and short story writer. Greer received the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel Less.
Andrew Holleran is the pseudonym of Eric Garber, an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer, born and partly raised in Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean. He is a prominent novelist of post-Stonewall gay literature. He was a member of The Violet Quill, a gay writer's group that met briefly from 1980-81. The Violet Quill included other prolific gay writers like Edmund White and Felice Picano. Garber, who has historically been very protective of his privacy, uses "Andrew Holleran" as his pseudonym.
Jim Grimsley is an American novelist and playwright.
Martin Bauml Duberman is an American historian, biographer, playwright, and gay rights activist. Duberman is Professor of History Emeritus at Herbert Lehman College in the Bronx, New York City.
Felice Picano is an American writer, publisher, and critic who has encouraged the development of gay literature in the United States. His work is documented in many sources.
Martin Hyatt is an American contemporary writer. Born in Louisiana, he later attended Goddard College, Eugene Lang College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Hyatt's fiction is usually set in the working-class American South. His work is characterized by its lyricism and realism. He has taught writing at a number of colleges and universities, including Hofstra University and Parsons School of Design. He has taught Creative Writing at School of Visual Arts, St. Francis College, and Southern New Hampshire University.
Michael Grumley was an American writer and artist.
The Violet Quill was a group of seven gay male writers that met in 1980 and 1981 in New York City to read from their writings to each other and to critique them. This group and the writers epitomize the years between the Stonewall Riots and the beginning of the AIDS pandemic.
Lolita is a 1955 novel written by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, a French middle-aged literature professor under the pseudonym Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with an American 12-year-old girl, Dolores Haze, whom he sexually molests after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores. The novel was originally written in English and first published in Paris in 1955 by Olympia Press. Later it was translated into Russian by Nabokov himself and published in New York City in 1967 by Phaedra Publishers.
Patrick Eugene Ryan is an American novelist and short story writer. His books include The Dream Life of Astronauts and Send Me, as well as three novels for young adults: Saints of Augustine, In Mike We Trust, and Gemini Bites.
Evan Fallenberg is an American-born writer and translator residing in Israel. His debut novel Light Fell, published in 2008, won the Stonewall Book Award and the Edmund White Award, and was a shortlisted Lambda Literary Award nominee for Gay Debut Fiction at the 21st Lambda Literary Awards. His second novel, When We Danced on Water, was published in 2011 by HarperPerennial, and his third, The Parting Gift, by Other Press in 2018. He has also published English translations of several Israeli writers, including Meir Shalev, Hanoch Levin, Ron Leshem and Batya Gur.
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