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White, Edmund (Author) & Genet, Jean (Subject) . GENET: A BIOGRAPHY. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 728 pages. Fine/Fine.

Massive and definitive biography on subject. The best book on Genet in English. The first appearance of the title in the United States. 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. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Edmund White's "Genet". Exhaustive biography of the great French Modernist icon/writer. White has written a meticulous (hence its daunting length) and lucid account, a welcome antidote to Jean-Paul Sartre's all-but-unreadable "biography", "Saint Genet". According to many reliable critics, there is no other 20th-century writer whose prose style is as commanding, as authoritative, and as original as Jean Genet's, with the exception of Marcel Proust and Franz Kafka. That Genet was largely self-taught makes his achievement all the more astonishing. It is just as fascinating that he and Proust, the unsurpassed French literary artists of the 20th century, should both be homosexual. As such, "Genet" is also biography-as-autobiography: Edmund White, also homosexual and profoundly influenced by Genet, examines this cultural phenomenon, its continuity in the constellation of such writers as Andre Gide, Jean Cocteau, Michel Tournier, the philosopher Michel Foucault, and the culture critic Roland Barthes, all seminal figures, all gay. Every Edmund White book is, deep down, a fable. "Genet" is no exception. Every fable, as Michael Ondaatje has remarked about White, is marked by a melancholy beauty. Genet's life story is pure melancholy. An absolute "must-have" title for Edmund White and Jean Genet collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed in blue pen on the title page by Edmund White. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: At the time of the book's publication, Edmund White was based in Paris, suffering from AIDS, and believed he would never return to America. He was one of the first prominent figures to be diagnosed with the illness, and after more than twenty-five years, remains one of its longest-living survivors (through a cocktail regimen). So signed copies from the period will be difficult to find. Most copies available online have serious flaws ("Very Good"). This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with archival photographs. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994 for "Genet". Anointed by Vladimir Nabokov as his American successor. One of the finest American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER EDMUND WHITE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394571711. $90.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on July 25, 2017.