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Young Man from the Provinces: A Gay Life before Stonewall

Helms, Alan

ISBN 10: 0571198805 / ISBN 13: 9780571198801
Published by Faber & Faber, 1995
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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0571198805 Gore Vidal, Edmund White, Terrence McNally dj blurbs. Bookseller Inventory # 004868

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Young Man from the Provinces: A Gay Life ...

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Helms vividly brings to life the time just before Stonewall and the Gay Liberations Movement in this poignant, insightful, often humorous remembrance of his journey from a midwestern adolescence to a self-absorbed life as a male model in New York and Europe in the 1960s, ending with his self-acceptance as a gay man in a homophobic society.

From Publishers Weekly:

In his 20s and early 30s, Helms was at once the most privileged and self-destructive of men, at the giddy peak of his career as "the most celebrated young man in all of gay New York." The Manhattan of the 1950s and '60s embraced the Columbia student as a "U.T."?a "universal type," or "someone everybody wants," photographed by Avedon, directed by Edward Albee and pursued by any number of men. Repudiating the drab miseries of his Indiana boyhood, Helms pursued those who pursued him: his more celebrated lovers included Anthony Perkins, Larry Kert and Luchino Visconti. Leonard Bernstein wooed him ardently, and chum Noel Coward helped Helms reconcile with a lover. But the relationships were doomed to fall apart, as Helms (held aloft by adoration, alcohol and drugs; brought thuddingly to earth by excess?bulimia; alcoholism; joyless, frenetic promiscuity) began to self-destruct. Self-acceptance came with the more temperate joys of work as a college professor and with counseling from the Harvard psychologist Robert Coles. As he grew older, Helms was better able to distance himself from the past. Because Helms is neither an elegant nor a modest writer, the reader is less willing to repudiate his glittering excesses; Helms's vigorous name-dropping has more charm than the somber self-reproaches that accompany his sobriety. This self-described "D student in the school of life" depicts a New York that, after the Stonewall riots, would never be as closeted?or as cozily familiar?again.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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