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Look Inside. Austin Smith is pushing fifty, loveless and drifting, until one day he meets Julien, a much younger, married Frenchman. Before long, however, the past begins to catch up with them. In a desperate quest to save health and happiness, they move from Venice to Key West, from Montreal in the snow to Providence in the rain.
But it is amid the bleak, baking sands of the Sahara that their love is pushed to its ultimate crisis. Edmund White was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in Atlanta Journal? Deeply moving…White rings new changes on the old themes of mortality and forgiveness.?? The Boston Phoenix. Has becoming a cultural icon in the literary world changed things for you in any way — perhaps informing the topics you choose to write about?
A: Well, thanks for the compliments first of all. I love writing about gay life because it still feels so uncharted. But of course I also like to tackle other subjects — and my very next novel will be a historical novel, a portrait of a 19th-century female radical. What was the ificance of this shift?
A: I wanted to underline the difference between The Married Man and the trilogy, and one way to do it was Married man single man book shift from the first-person to the third. I greatly enjoyed creating a portrait loosely based on myself — with all my foibles, some of them even exaggerated for comic effect. The relationship with the reader is different when you write about yourself in the third-person. The reader accepts the portrait as something objective — which is a great relief.
Q: Married man single man book the story locale shifts from France and Venice to Providence, Key West, and even Morocco, it primarily takes place in Paris, where the main character lives and where you actually lived for 16 years. What is it about Paris that fascinates you in life and in fiction? I loved giving Married man single man book teaching and becoming a student, learning a new language though it was often frustratingreading a whole new contemporary literature — and especially discovering values and attitudes that challenged American views.
Q: Now that you live in the States again, are there things about life in France that you miss? Conversely, have you gained any newfound appreciations for American culture? A: I never disliked America nor left it for political reasons or as a protest of any sort. I did gain an appreciation of France and the French who are the most loyal friends and in fact practice a cult of friendship.
I miss French food, the rapidity and lightness of French conversation, French discretion, the rigor of French intellectual style, the shrugging French sophistication about sexual peccadilloes. Q: Early in your new novel, the main character, Austin, throws a dinner party for all his young French friends, who are mostly gay men and straight women. Do you see these two groups as a happy alliance of sensibility?
And both are well-versed in the arts of seduction. Both have had to come up against that big immovable object, the male ego. Was it difficult for you to write about this? A: I had no choice. I lived through such painful experiences with my real French lover who, like the character in my book, died in Morocco. I was so haunted by those memories — and simultaneously so afraid of forgetting a single detail through the natural amnesia of grief and time — that I felt driven to get it all down. But yes, it was painful — far more painful than cathartic.
Q: Do you think of other gay men as the primary audience for your book? A: Not at all. AIDS is something that has affected virtually everyone, and the conclusion of the book, I hope, is a realistic, unsentimental look at how people live through — and sometimes die from — the disease.
More important, I decided to downplay the explicit sexuality of my earlier books in order to open this one up to the general reader. Q: In the novel, Julien is married but separated — bisexual, but ardent in his devotion to Austin.
A: Maybe that French discretion and sexual sophistication I mentioned earlier rubbed off on my expatriate, Austin. I think that older gay men are rejected by the ordinary gay community, if not as friends at least as partners, so older men like Austin, or me learn to look for love in strange places and not demand that things be ideal. Q: Even though you see homosexuality as a way of challenging convention, the feel of The Married Man is one of traditional storytelling.
How do you resolve this apparent contradiction? A: In The Farewell Symphony I think I blurred the line between autobiography and novel and rejected the tight-knit plot in order to convey in a modern picaresque the centifugal Married man single man book of gay life. In that book, in other words, I rejected novelistic conventions, so suited to heterosexual life, in favor of a bigger, more open and inclusive form, Married man single man book appropriate to the anthological side of urban gay experience in the s, the main period of action.
I no longer turned to an open form but to a closed one that observes the unities of character and situation if not of place or time. I thought the most dramatic way to present my subject would be within the confines of the traditional novel. To be sure, there are games in the book — especially the way the light, anecdotal tone of the beginning in no way prepares the reader for the tragedy to come. These are games involving the contract with the reader rather than the form of the fiction. Q: Generally speaking, what do you think of gay marriages? Gays will never be equal until they are equal under the law.
In addition, marriage enables gays to leave their property to their partners, to share health benefits, to adopt as a couple — all important concerns, especially in a world in which many men died young, because of AIDS. Having said all that, I myself would never want to marry. Discover the Must-Read Books of Read An Excerpt.
Category: Contemporary Romance Category: Fiction. Sep 11, ISBN Add to Cart. Also available from:. Sep 08, ISBN Available from:. Paperback —. Also in Vintage International. Also by Edmund White. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. The Kissing List. Stephanie Reents.
The Glitch. Elisabeth Cohen. Where the God of Love Hangs Out. What She Saw…. Lucinda Rosenfeld. Cause Celeb. Helen Fielding. Barbara the Slut and Other People. Lauren Holmes. Animal Spirit. Francesca Marciano. Love in Lowercase. Francesc Miralles. Elements of Style. Wendy Wasserstein. Bread and Butter. Michelle Wildgen. Jonathan Unleashed.
The Pursuit of Alice Thrift. Elinor Lipman. Mary Gaitskill. Love in the Last Days. The Future Has a Past. California Cooper.Married man single man book
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