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White, Edmund. JACK HOLMES & HIS FRIEND. New York City, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 395 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's tenth novel. One of Edmund White's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Edmund White's new fable-novel on his lifelong theme as a novelist: Erotic desire and its acute effect on one's life, time, place, and ultimately, on culture and history. Most so-called gay novels (including White's great "Gay Trilogy") assume that both men must be gay for either a sexual encounter to take place or a romance to blossom between them. If so, then "gay" is not the same thing as "homosexual", which means attraction towards someone of the same sex, regardless of the other person's own sexual orientation. In the bid to assimilate into mainstream culture, gay men actively suppress spontaneous, genuine, and problematic desire and voluntarily restrict any sexual desire to each other. The politicization of homosexuality has led to a new and more insidious (because it is consciously self-imposed) form of oppression and "ghetto-ization". Many gays, of all people, have also re-defined sexuality itself as immutable ("I was born this way") rather than fluid and even unpredictable and unbeknownst to the person himself or herself. White's novel explores something that even he has largely avoided until now: The love, not just attraction, that an openly gay man feels for another man, who is heterosexual. The friendship of the title is really a love that dare not speak its name. "In tender prose, White does justice to the erotic potential of the story, with abundant and charged descriptions of sex. Switching between Jack's point of view and Will's, White shows each man as he perceives himself and as he is perceived by his friend. The result is not just ironic, it is an elegant study of the paradoxes and half-truths that emerge in long-standing friendships" (The New Yorker Magazine). "One of the three or four most virtuosic living writers of sentences in the English language" (Dave Eggers). An absolute "must-have" title for Edmund White collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Edmund White. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page or bookplate. Laid-in is a copy of the Souvenir Program of the event during which his signature was obtained. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A very scarce signed 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 fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER EDMUND WHITE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1608197034. $80.00

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