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“[A] moving chronicle…that peacock’s tail, those stag’s antlers—they’re here, to be sure, but so are vulnerability, doubt, failure and long years toiling at the sort of cruddy day jobs that most literary writers know all too well…In City Boy, White is amusing and raucous as ever but he also lets the mask slip…his losses and struggles, as consequence, seems less sculpted, but more real….City Boy, plain-spoken and knowing, is a survivor’s tale, a missive from one of those antlered boys of that era to the others who are gone: this is who we were, this is how it was, this was our city. Some stories don’t need to be embellished to glow.”—New York Times Book Review
“City Boy is Mr. White's second memoir in three years, and a great deal of his fiction (notably the novel ''A Boy's Own Story'') has been autobiographical. You get the sense of a writer slowly peeling his life like an artichoke, letting only a few stray leaves go at a time…this one is salty and buttery, for sure. Mr. White's ''Oh, come on, guys'' meekness has vanished into thin air.”—New York Times
“Novelist and critic White weaves erotic encounters and long-ago literati into a vast tapestry of Manhattan memories… How he overcame setbacks and confronted his insecurities to eventually write 23 books makes for fascinating reading…White writes with a simple, fluid style, and beneath his patina of pain, a refreshing honesty emerges. This is a brilliant recreation of an era, rich in revels, revolutions and ‘leather boys leading the human tidal wave.’”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A colorfully detailed remembrance…with his novelist’s brilliance in turns of phrase in evoking these places, [White] also recalls the many celebrated writers he encountered over the years in his slow climb to writerly success. A special invitation to a world gone by.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A graceful memoir of a decidedly ungraceful time in the life of New York City…. A welcome portrait of a time and place long past, and much yearned for.”—Kirkus
“[White] retained a keen appreciation for the varieties of affection, which is gracefully displayed here. Lively sketches of James Merrill, Susan Sontag, Robert Mapplethorpe, and others are occasionally sharp as well as fond, but White’s candor extends equally to his own doubts and failures.”—New Yorker
“So witty, so insightful, so bristling with gossip, that one almost fails to notice that it is an essential chronicle of a revolution in many ways no less important than the fall of Communism: the gay liberation movement, in which White was both an actor and a privileged spectator…In one of his many discourses on friends famous -- Jasper Johns, Peggy Guggenheim, James Merrill -- and otherwise, White described a now-forgotten novelist's book as lacking "that key, embarrassing literary quality no one knows how to discuss: charm." City Boy is full of it, even when discussing weighty topics.”—Harpers
“Since White is a born raconteur, his gimlet-eyed anecdotes about celebrities of the era are as tangy as blood orange sorbet served after lobster Thermidor… [he] matches his talent for journalism with brilliant imagistic prose.”—Gay City News
“In his 23 books, novelist and literary critic White has become one of the premier chroniclers of New York City intellectual life and the gay world…White unabashedly turns the pen on himself and the dozens of writers and artists he met in his years coming of age as a gay man in New York.”—NY Post
“Edmund White's writing of the past quarter-century adds up to a story of inner life repressed and then bursting forth into full expressive flower, as well as a neat encapsulation of the history of gay subculture…He's eloquent on the horrific psychic cost of closeted gay identity, pre-Stonewall.”—Washington Post
“[White] is a more highbrow Augusten Burroughs; a more sedate and scholarly David Sedaris…[City Boy] is an exquisitely written, devilishly detailed account of White's life in the City.”—Huffington Post
“[An] exuberant, thoughtful memoir… White's affectionate yet candid portraits of literary celebrities Richard Howard, Harold Brodkey and Susan Sontag celebrate those friendships, with the eminences coming across as quite distinct from their forbidding pubic personas, even lovable…Sparkling cameo appearances by the likes of Truman Capote, Robert Mapplethorpe and Fran Lebowitz expand the feeling that artistic Manhattan then was a very different place than it is today. All fun aside, the gadabout boulevardier at some point had to take a back seat to the fiercely ambitious emerging writer. White's vivid analysis of his artistic struggles and literary progress during these years is like a master class for other writers…. White's memoir…has charm to burn.”—Shelf Awareness
“Decades before Times Square looked like a trailer park filled with tourists in lawn chairs and real estate prices hit the stratosphere, New York was seedy and dangerous. But for a young gay man from the Midwest, it was also a refuge, full of possibility and excitement, where strangers became lovers with one furtive glance, as Edmund White evokes in his fascinating historical memoir City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s…like his novels, the portrait he paints is unflinching.”—Modern Tonic
“CITY BOY is an amazing memoir of White’s hunger for literary fame — for publication even — and intellectual esteem in the superheated creative world of ’60s and ’70s New York. His sketches of writers and artists, including everyone from poets James Merrill and John Ashbery to artist Robert Wilson and editor Robert Gottlieb, are full of bon mots, sharply observed details, and great honesty about his own desires for love and esteem. CITY BOY vividly brings to life the sheer squalor of life in 1970s New York …A wonderful raconteur with a well-stocked fund of anecdotes and observations, White’s writings reveal much about alliances, alignments, and personalities from a vanished world that still echo strongly in our own.”—This Week in New York
“Edmund White is no one-trick pony. The prolific novelist, critic, memoirist, gay activist, professor and social aspirant has waded into countless literary and intellectual pools and sent visible ripples through each. White's latest book, a ruminative and rambling memoir of his time in New York City in the 1970s, takes readers on a dime tour through the writer's initiation into circles that spun with such blinding talents as Susan Sontag, Richard Howard, John Ashbery, Michel Foucault, even Vladimir Nabokov and Anthony Burgess. ‘City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and '70s’ dispenses with the jaw-dropping lyricism of the books that made him famous (his beloved memoir ‘A Boy's Own Story,’ especially) and replaces it with a didactic narrative flecked with powerful bits of insight, buried like chunks of brown sugar in a big pot of literary oatmeal…’City Boy’ presents an exhilarating sketch of the grizzled, untamed and dangerous way of life that was New York in the 1960s and '70s… Surely [White] deserves a notable place in the pantheon of the artists and writers who populate his book, which serves as a testament to his talent and to the credibility he has laboriously built up in his years as a working writer…We're lucky for the pioneering work of White, his insistence on casting himself as a ‘gay’ writer, even if it continues to harm his entry into the upper echelon of global literary talents…[City Boy] offers a valuable glimpse into the mind of an indispensable writer and critic, one whose obsessions -- with his city, with other artists, and especially with himself -- help to demystify a fascinating moment in culture and time.”—Buffalo News
“Instead of imagining that far-fetched, science-fiction-based ideas like time machines will ever become a reality, most of us rely on books and movies to take us to places we will either never get to visit, or missed out on entirely. The 1960s and 70s were a pivotal time for gay men, a time when homosexuals made history by redefining their role in society at large by standing up for the basic human rights we enjoy today – and then there's all that rampant, unbridled sex on the Chelsea piers. Popular gay historian, novelist, memoirist and survivor Edmund White takes us there in style in City Boy…. In his own classy, restrained, inimitable style, Edmund White presents graceful ruminations on an ungraceful time as one forgotten decade casts a long shadow on the one that followed. Simply put, this book is a gem, and if time travel were indeed a possibility, White would make the ultimate tour guide.”—Bay Area Reporter
“In his new memoir, "City Boy: My Life in New York in the 1960s and '70s" (Blo...
Edmund White is a talented writer of fiction, but not biographies or autobiographies.
Only knowing something about a few of the people, and finding that many of them not being ones that I would want to know, this book is less captivating.
This mess of a memoir is mesmerizing (its very messiness being a strange kind of catalyst).
Too much sex and passion in the long ago New York. Finally not that interesting.Published 11 days ago by kenneth
I just finished this book. I found it interesting, but, yes, shocking. He is quite clear about how promiscuous (spelling) he was in the 1970s. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elizabeth S. Case
I've read - and enjoyed - a handful of Edmund White's novels, not to mention a number of his essays and reviews. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Matthew Phillips
by a dull, over-hyped writer. White's reputation is owed solely to the fact that he was in the right place at the right time (the proliferation of gay fiction) and was the perfect... Read morePublished 2 months ago by jar137
I love White's style. He makes feel right after a few pages into his books one of the characters. I can't wait to read another book by himPublished 3 months ago by paolo pucci
Some of the perspectives of what it was like to be gay in the 1970s were interesting, particularly the selfloathing by gay people themselves. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This well written and interesting memoir focuses on the author's coming of age as a gay man. It's not about teen-to-adulthood (I believe White has another book about that period)... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Deb Oestreicher
I am heading to Paris for the first time this autumn and I am reading as much as I can on Paris based text. This was highly entertaining.Published 6 months ago by Robert Tucker
Great piece of work. A big repetitive. But, nice flow for the book. Hard to keep up with the folks in the book.Published 8 months ago by Rene Tamayo