Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Edmund White  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1940 in Cincinnati, Ohio

-- Website --
-- Edmund White on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

When White was seven years he moved to Evanston with his mother and sister.

Biographical and Professional Information

Edmund White is a novelist, writer of memoirs and an essayist on literary and social topics. He lives in New York and teaches at Princeton. White is one of the best-known writers in gay fiction though his works also include non-fiction and fiction on a wide variety of themes. He has won acclaim from both gay and mainstream literary critics. Along with the books he has written, he also edited the book, ''Loss Within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS'' in 2001 and compiled the anthology ''Fresh Men: New Voices in Gay Fiction'' with Don Weise in 2004.

Selected Titles At Your Library

Forgetting Elena /
ISBN: 067975573X. OCLC Number:

Vintage International,. New York :. 1994.

Nocturnes for the King of Naples /
ISBN: 0312022638. OCLC Number:

St. Martin's Press,. New York :. ©1978.

A hauntingly beautiful evocation of lost love, Noctunes for the King of Naples has all the startling, almost embarrassing, intimacy of a stranger's love letters. The intense emotional situation envelops the readers from the first page; like all images in a dream, White's characters are the most real people we know, thought they remain phantoms. Each chapter, each nocturne, is set in a different emotional key, but all are interconnected through such subtle modulations that the final effect is devastating.

States of desire :
ISBN: 0525222359. OCLC Number:

. .

A boy's own story /
ISBN: 0375707409. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York :. ©1982.

At home, in school, and on the streets, a homosexual teenager moves through comic sexual experiments, isolation, fear, and exciting expectations toward an escape from childhood and a firm sense of self.

Caracole /
ISBN: 067976416X. OCLC Number:

Vintage Books,. New York :. 1996.

The beautiful room is empty /
ISBN: 0679755403. OCLC Number:

. .

"Moving from a Midwestern college to the Stonewall Tavern on the night of the first gay uprising--and populated by eloquent queens, butch poseurs, and a fearfully incompetent shrink--The beautiful room is empty conflates the acts of coming out and coming of age."--Cover.

The darker proof :
ISBN: 0452260701. OCLC Number:

New American Library,. New York, N.Y. :. [1988]

The Faber book of gay short fiction /
ISBN: 0571129080. OCLC Number:

Faber and Faber,. Boston :. 1992.

Genet :
ISBN: 0679754792. OCLC Number:

Random House,. New York :. 1994.

The burning library :
ISBN: 0679754741. OCLC Number:

Vintage International,. New York :. 1995, ©1994.

Our Paris :
ISBN: 0679441662. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. 1995.

"Edmund White, one of our most celebrated writers, and the French artist Hubert Sorin offer us a lighthearted, gently satiric portrait of their favorite people and places in and around their neighborhood, the run-down heart of Paris called the Chatelet. It is an enchantingly varied world, populated not only by dazzling literati and ultra-chic couturiers and art dealers but also by poetic shopkeepers, grandmotherly prostitutes, and, ever underfoot, an irrepressible basset hound named Fred. The foibles and eccentricities of these sometimes outrageous, always memorable individuals are brought to life with unfailing wit and affection." "Below the surface of this sparkling comedy there is a tragic undercurrent, for while Sorin was completing his work, he was nearing the end of his struggle with AIDS. The book is a tribute to the brave spirit that led the authors to banish the somber and to celebrate the pleasures of their life together, as well as the differences between them."--Jacket.

Skinned alive :
ISBN: 067975475X. OCLC Number:

Knopf :. New York :. 1995.

Eight stories featuring homosexual protagonists. The story, Pyrography, is on the discomfort of a gay boy camping with two straight boys, Running on Empty describes a man's emotions on learning he is HIV-positive, and Palace Days is on the adventures of two American homosexuals in Paris.

The farewell symphony :
ISBN: 0679754768. OCLC Number:

. .

A writer looks back on a decade of homosexual affairs on both sides of the Atlantic. In the process he describes the gay man's dilemma, on the one hand he wants the right to be different, on the other he wants to be accepted as normal.

Marcel Proust /
ISBN: 0670880574. OCLC Number:

. .

"Considered the greatest - and most influential - writer of the twentieth century, Marcel Proust was also one of its most fascinating figures. In this portrait, Edmund White, author of an acclaimed biography of Jean Genet and the much admired novel A Boy's Own Story displays a rare understanding of this most complex man. A strange, reclusive genius who often lay in bed for days at a time in his cork-lined room, obsessively rewriting his masterpiece, Remembrance of Things Past, Proust was at other times a tireless socialite, attending the grandest parties and dazzling the guests - especially the most important ones - with his vivacity and wit. White also depicts the yearning, lonely boy, the ambitious grasper after honors, and the miserably closeted homosexual, an aspect of his life that this book explores frankly and perceptively."--Jacket.

The married man /
ISBN: 0375400052. OCLC Number:

Knopf,. New York :. 2000.

Austin, an American working in Paris, and Julien, a French architect, fall in love, but "inevitably ... Julien's past catches up with them. With increasing desperation, in a quest to save health and happiness, they move from the shuttered squares of Venice to sun-drenched Key West, to Montreal in the snow and Providence in the rain. But it is amid the bleak, baking sands of the Sahara that their love is pushed to its ultimate crisis."--Jacket.

The flaneur :
ISBN: 1582341354. OCLC Number:

Bloomsbury,. New York :. 2001.

A flaneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through a city without apparent purpose but is secretly attuned to the history of the place and in covert search of adventure, aesthetic or erotic. The author, who lived in Paris for sixteen years, wanders through the streets and avenues and along the quays, into parts of Paris virtually unknown to visitors and indeed to many Parisians.

Fanny :
ISBN: 0060004843. OCLC Number:

Ecco/HarperCollins,. New York :. ©2003.

A fictional account based on the life of Fanny Wright is presented from the perspective of social critic and biographer Frances Trollope, who remembers young Wright's utopian idealism and move to mid-nineteenth century America.

Arts and letters /
ISBN: 1573441953. OCLC Number:

Cleis Press,. San Francisco, Calif. :. ©2004.

"39 lively essays and profiles ... illuminate some of the most influential writers, artists, and cultural icons of the past century"--Jacket.

My lives /
ISBN: 0066213975. OCLC Number:

. .

Arranged thematically rather than chronologically, a collection of reminiscences by the critically acclaimed author integrates social history and humor as he discusses such topics as his psychologists, lovers, family, and friends.

Terre Haute /
ISBN: 0713687940. OCLC Number:

Methuen Drama,. London :. 2007.

Imagines the relationship between Gore Vidal, the author, and Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, while McVeigh sits on death row.

Chaos :
ISBN: 0786720050. OCLC Number:

. .

When a respected older man clings to the values and mores of the liberated 1970s, when he pursues sex relentlessly and his reputation suffers, Chaos ensues. White explores different aspects of aging, romance, and sex, inviting his readers to come with him to Florida, the Greek Isles, and Turkey ̮and into the chaotic gay demimonde of contemporary New York.

Hotel de Dream :
ISBN: 0060852259. OCLC Number:

Ecco,. New York :. ©2007.

A tale inspired by the final days of literary master Stephen Crane is set in the underworld of turn-of-the-century New York and follows his death-bed dictation of his final novel, "The Painted Boy," while biding farewell to a long-time love.

Rimbaud :
ISBN: 1934633151. OCLC Number:

Atlas & Co. :. New York :. ©2008.

Poet and prodigy Arthur Rimbaud led a life that was tragically brief, but just as dramatically eventful and accomplished.

City boy :
ISBN: 1596914025. OCLC Number:

Bloomsbury,. New York :. 2009.

"City Boy" tells the story of White's years in 1970s New York, bouncing from intellectual encounters with Susan Sontag and Harold Brodkey to his erotic entanglements downtown to the city's burgeoning gay scene of artists and writers.

Sacred monsters /
ISBN: 1936833115. OCLC Number:

. .

"Named by novelist John Irving as "one of the best writers of my generation," Edmund White is one of our most celebrated novelists. He is also a brilliant journalist and cultural commentator on the arts. In Sacred Monsters, White collects more than twenty of his most recent writings on legendary figures from the worlds of art and literature, including John Cheever, Edith Wharton, David Hockney, Truman Capote, Auguste Rodin, Christopher Isherwood, Robert Mapplethorpe, Martin Amis, E.M. Forster, Tennessee Williams, The Beats, Glenway Westcott, Vladimir Nabokov, James Merrill, Marguerite Duras, John Rechy, Henry James, Paul Bowles, Ford Madox Ford, Reynolds Price, Howard Sturgis, and Marcel Proust. Filled with wit, erudition, and charm, White's writing manages to entertain as it enlightens readers."--Jacket.

Jack Holmes and his friend :
ISBN: 1608197034. OCLC Number:

Bloomsbury,. New York :. 2012.

Traces the decades-long friendship of Jack Holmes and Will Wright, which is marked by Jack's secret love for Will, Will's marriage in spite of conflicted sexual feelings, and the devastating rise of AIDS--

Inside a pearl :
ISBN: 1608195821. OCLC Number:

. .

The book's title evokes the Parisian landscape in the eternal mists and the half-light, the serenity of the city compared to the New York White had known (and vividly recalled in City Boy).


The Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1982 Chevalier (later Officier)

de LOrdre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, 1993 Made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1997 Made a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1999 Prize of the Festival of Deauville (France)

, Entire body of work, 2000

The Beautiful Room is Empty

  • Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Fiction, 1988
  • Genet

  • National Book Critics Circle Award, 1994
  • Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Biography/Autobiography, 1993
  • Skinned Alive

  • Critics 1 Choice Award, San Francisco Review of Books, 1995-96
  • The Married Man

  • Ferro-Grumley Award from the Publishing Triangle, 2001
  • Fresh Men

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)