Edmund White Chaos: A Novella and Stories

ISBN 13: 9780786720057

Chaos: A Novella and Stories

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9780786720057: Chaos: A Novella and Stories
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When a respected older man clings to the values and mores of the liberated 1970s, when he pursues sex relentlessly and his reputation suffers, Chaos ensues. White explores different aspects of aging, romance, and sex, inviting his readers to come with him to Florida, the Greek Isles, and Turkey and into the chaotic gay demimonde of contemporary New York.

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About the Author:

Edmund White is the author of some twenty books, including a biography of Jean Genet, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is best known for his trilogy of autobiographical novels A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty and The Farewell Symphony. He teaches writing at Princeton. An officer of the French order of Arts and Letters, White has written a short life of Marcel Proust. His most recent book is his memoir, My Lives. He lives in New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

The title novella from novelist, memoirist and biographer White (Genet, etc.) turns on the guilt that gay novelist Jack, 66, feels about not visiting his dying friend Helene in Paris, and on Jack's obsession with Seth, 28, a charmless ex-Mormon sex bomb. Not much happens in "Chaos": financially strapped Jack and Seth (a "total top") meet on Craig's List and fall into a ritual where Jack pays Seth $120 for the pleasure of sucking Seth off. (White told a nearly identical story of obsession just last year in his much praised memoir My Lives, where the episode is titled "My Master.") Of the stories, only "Record Time" shines: it records what it was like to be 13 in small-town 1953, starved for culture, reduced to listening over and over to opera recordings on ancient 78s. The narrator recalls the excitement of going alone to a distant town for a screening of Cukor's famous Camille, taking the evening train home after a rain. Here the writing is thrilling, evocative, with a magic missing elsewhere in the collection. Despite that high point, even White's fans might feel entitled to sit this one out. (June)
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