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White, Edmund. MY LIVES: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. London, England: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2006. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 360 pages. As New/As New.

The author's autobiography. One of the most important literary events of the year 2006. The true First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, including the American. The text is the same, but the presentation is significantly different from the latter, particularly the photographs that are included, many of which inexplicably do not appear in the American edition. One of Edmund White's crowning achievements as the leading American gay writer of our time, it is indisputably the best account of gay life since Tennessee Williams' "Memoirs". Following its cue from the title, White's account candidly remembers his tumultuous, eventful, and fascinating life in ten thematic chapters: "My Shrinks", "My Father", "My Mother", "My Hustlers", "My Women", "My Europe", "My Master", "My Blonds", "My Genet", and "My Friends". They correspond more or less chronologically to his story of growing up handsome, gay, and enormously talented. Writing comes naturally and effortlessly to Edmund White, and this has proved to be his best weapon against his detractors, the "assimilationist" gay writers like Andrew Sullivan and Bruce Bawer, who regard White's unapologetic bohemianism as a throwback to the past. White is indeed loyal to the idea of The Past partly because there isn't a whole lot in The Present that he finds hopeful or encouraging: How is it possible that so many gays (like Sullivan and Bawer) are or have been among the most rabid right-wingers, that they have internalized their oppression by identifying with their oppressors? He is a nihilist not by choice or even temperament but by default. His autobiography is characterized by a genuine humility and candor that are rare among celebrity-writers. Sexually explicit (there is a "sex scene" on nearly every other page), his account does not come across as lurid, self-indulgent or obscene at all because of the sheer beauty of his prose, and he drops ideas as lightly as eggs in a basket. "Now that I'm sixty-five, I think this is a good moment to write a memoir. Sixty-five is the right time for casting a backward glance, while one is still fully engaged in one's life" (Edmund White). A tour-de-force, the book, once started, is impossible to put down. A "must-have" title for Edmund White collectors. This is an Import title, was not commercially distributed in the United States, is now out-of-print as a hardcover, and highly collectible. This is one of very few copies of the true First Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A very scarce copy thus. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994 for "Genet". Anointed by Vladimir Nabokov as his American successor. One of the finest living American writers. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER EDMUND WHITE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0747575223. $40.00

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