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Sunshine Vicram is back!


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The USA Today bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids returns with a tale of two generations of women reconciling family secrets and past regrets.


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Two sets of lives, Coded messages, will history repeat itself?


City Boy by Edmund White

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Also by Edmund White:

A Saint from Texas, June 2021
Trade Size / e-Book
Jack Holmes and His Friend, January 2012
Hardcover / e-Book
City Boy, October 2009
Hardcover
My Lives, April 2006
Hardcover

City Boy
Edmund White

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

Bloomsbury Press
October 2009
On Sale: September 29, 2009
304 pages
ISBN: 1596914025
EAN: 9781596914025
Hardcover
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Non-Fiction

An irresistible literary treat: a memoir of the social and sexual lives of New York City’s cultural and intellectual in-crowd in the tumultuous 1970s, from acclaimed author Edmund White.

In the New Y ork of the 1970s, in the wake of Stonewall and in the midst of economic collapse, you might find the likes of Jasper Johns and William Burroughs at the next cocktail party, and you were as likely to be caught arguing Marx at the New York City Ballet as cruising for sex in the warehouses and parked trucks along the Hudson. This is the New York that Edmund White portrays in City Boy: a place of enormous intrigue and artistic tumult. Combining the no- holds-barred confession and yearning of A Boy’s Own Story with the easy erudition and sense of place of The Flaneur, this is the story of White’s years in 1970s New York, bouncing from intellectual encounters with Susan Sontag and Harold Brodkey to erotic entanglements downtown to the burgeoning gay scene of artists and writers. I t’s a moving, candid, brilliant portrait of a time and place, full of encounters with famous names and cultural icons. An esteemed novelist and cultural critic, Edmund White is the author of many books, including the autobiographical novel A Boy’s Own Story; a previous memoir, My Lives; and most recently a biography of poet Arthur Rimbaud. White lives in New York City and teaches writing at Princeton University. An irresistible literary treat: a memoir of the social and sexual lives of New York City’s cultural and intellectual in-crowd in the tumultuous 1970s, from acclaimed author Edmund White.

In the New Y ork of the 1970s, in the wake of Stonewall and in the midst of economic collapse, you might find the likes of Jasper Johns and William Burroughs at the next cocktail party, and you were as likely to be caught arguing Marx at the New York City Ballet as cruising for sex in the warehouses and parked trucks along the Hudson. This is the New York that Edmund White portrays in City Boy: a place of enormous intrigue and artistic tumult. Combining the no- holds-barred confession and yearning of A Boy’s Own Story with the easy erudition and sense of place of The Flaneur, this is the story of White’s years in 1970s New York, bouncing from intellectual encounters with Susan Sontag and Harold Brodkey to erotic entanglements downtown to the burgeoning gay scene of artists and writers. I t’s a moving, candid, brilliant portrait of a time and place, full of encounters with famous names and cultural icons. “[A] moving chronicle . . . that peacock’s tail, those stag’s antlers—they’re here, to be sure, but so are vulnerability, doubt, failure and long years toiling at the sort of cruddy day jobs that most literary writers know all too well . . . In City Boy, White is amusing and raucous as ever but he also lets the mask slip…his losses and struggles, as consequence, seems less sculpted, but more real . . . Some stories don’t need to be embellished to glow.”—The New York Times Book Review "An open-throttled tour of New York City during the bad old days of the 1960s and early '70s . . . it's all here in exacting and eye-popping detail . . . There is a great deal of sex and gossip in City Boy, but it is also a minor-key account of Mr. White's coming of age as a writer . . . City Boy is Mr. White's second memoir in three years, and a great deal of his fiction has been autobiographical. You get the sense of a writer slowly peeling his life like an artichoke, letting only a few stray leaves go at a time . . . This one is salty and buttery, for sure. Mr. White's 'Oh, come on, guys' meekness has vanished into thin air."—The New York Times "Chronicl[es]Gotham’s cultural highs and lows during those two heady and iconic decades . . . fleshing out our notion of how vital a period the ’60s and ’70s were . . . Since White is a born raconteur, his gimlet-eyed anecdotes about celebrities of the era are as tangy as blood orange sorbet served after lobster Thermidor . . . [he] matches his talent for journalism with brilliant imagistic prose."—Gay City News

"City Boy is an amazing memoir of White’s hunger for literary fame—for publication even—and intellectual esteem in the superheated creative world of ’60s and ’70s New York. His sketches of writers and artists, including everyone from poets James Merrill and John Ashbery to artist Robert Wilson and editor Robert Gottlieb, are full of bon mots, sharply observed details, and great honesty about his own desires for love and esteem. City Boy vividly brings to life the sheer squalor of life in 1970s New York . . . A wonderful raconteur with a well-stocked fund of anecdotes and observations, White’s writings reveal much about alliances, alignments, and personalities from a vanished world that still echo strongly in our own."—This Week in New York

"[An] exuberant, thoughtful memoir. Arriving in 1962 and determined to be famous, [Edmund White] found a job in publishing and got to work on his dream. Away from the office, he dedicated his energy to meeting people (some famous, some not) and, of course, having sex with lots and lots of men. Ambition, amphetamines, neurosis and an era when New York vibrated with desire combined for heady times in his young life . . . White wrestled with self-acceptance as he pursued therapy to reorient himself for a (never-to- be) heterosexual marriage; he admits he was so consumed with internalized self-loathing that he didn't have a clear idea of how he looked. Others, however, did not miss the handsome, eager man in all his '60s and '70s glory, and he made friends easily. White's affectionate yet candid portraits of literary celebrities Richard Howard, Harold Brodkey and Susan Sontag celebrate those friendships, with the eminences coming across as quite distinct from their forbidding pubic personas, even lovable. White got around in less elevated circles too. He saw a lifetime of scandalous acting out that bubbles up in passing remarks like, 'When gay men say in their personals, 'No drama queens, please,' they are trying to avoid someone like Coleman.' Sparkling cameo appearances by the likes of Truman Capote, Robert Mapplethorpe and Fran Lebowitz expand the feeling that artistic Manhattan then was a very different place than it is today. All fun aside, the gadabout boulevardier at some point had to take a back seat to the fiercely ambitious emerging writer. White's vivid analysis of his artistic struggles and literary progress during these years is like a master class for other writers. As he notes, the years of uncertainty helped him develop and refine his themes, otherwise he 'would never have turned toward writing with a burning desire to confess, to understand, to justify myself in the eyes of others.' Many readers of his landmark novel, A Boy's Own Story, will sit up at attention when he links his goal of writing 'a modern tragedy in which there were two choices and both were bad' to Anglo-Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen. That like-minded connection to Bowen also serves to explain his insistence that any truly satisfying work of literature must embrace a mysterious element of charm. Let it be known that White's memoir takes that lesson to heart and has charm to burn."—John McFarland, Shelf Awareness

"A graceful memoir of a decidedly ungraceful time in the life of New York City . . . A welcome port

Media Buzz

All Things Considered - December 14, 2009

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