Conversations with Edmund White
Over thirty years of interviews with the award-winning author and scholar known for chronicling gay culture
Conversations with Edmund White brings together twenty-one interviews with an author known for chronicling gay culture. Ranging from a 1982 discussion of his early works to a new and unpublished interview conducted in 2016, these interviews highlight White's predilections, his major achievements, and the pivotal moments of his long, varied career.
Since the 1973 publication of his first novel, Forgetting Elena, Edmund White (b. 1940) has become a major figure in literature and gay culture. White is, however, more than just a celebrated gay writer. He is an international man of letters, and his work crosses several genres. White's fiction includes an autobiographical trilogy—A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony—along with more recent novels such as Jack Holmes and His Friend and Our Young Man. White's love of French literature and culture is evident in biographies of Jean Genet, Marcel Proust, and Arthur Rimbaud, and his antipathy to American Puritanism suffuses his collected essays and memoirs and is on full display in two early nonfiction works that helped define the era of gay liberation: The Joy of Gay Sex, coauthored with Charles Silverstein, and States of Desire: Travels in Gay America.
A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, White has earned many distinctions, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Foundation's Pioneer Award. White has been a generous interviewer, sharing his time and insights not only with major publications such as The Paris Review, but also with smaller online publications for more limited audiences. A lively commentator, White has never been afraid to speak his mind, even when the result has been public feuds with literary peers on both sides of the Atlantic.
"These pieces compose a mosaic through which the reader can glimpse the life of a true artist and man of letters as well as the journey of the community that he deeply loves. "- Owen Keehnen, Windy City Times