[bksvol-discuss] Just submitted, The Beautiful Room is Empty

  • From: "Donna Smith" <donnafsmith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2007 16:47:16 -0500

The Beautiful Room is Empty by Edmond White.  The prequel to this book is
already in the collection, so I thought there would be interest in this one.
I've done all the usual prep work and it should be an easy validation.  As
usual, if anything needs rescanning or you have questions about any part of
this book, send me a note and I'll check it out.  I never get rid of books
until I get the note from BS that they've been added to the collection.


Here's the synopsis:


White returns to the spellbinding world of his earlier novel as his young
narrator-a sexually obsessed, timidly conventional boy-emerges from the
tragicomedy of his adolescence and makes his way, in startling leaps, toward
the tentative confidence of early adulthood.

In a narrative that mirrors the insistent rhythm and emotional range of this
nameless young man's life, we follow him-from the Midwest to Greenwich
Village, from the morally constrained 1950s to the "liberated" 1960s-as he
struggles to come to terms with his homosexuality, with his "self and its
discontent, isolation, self-hatred, and burning ambition." Scenes of sexual
intensity are played off against intellectual debates, family struggles, and
passionate if confused explorations of friendship. College and career,
literature and art, the oppression of psychoanalysis and the birth of gay
liberation-these are some of the themes and conflicts fixed by this
relentlessly paced and poetically imagined novel.

Edmund White, whose previous books have been praised by such writers as
Vladimir Nabokov, Christopher Isherwood, and Gore Vidal, has never written
with such urgency, such humor, such candor before. The Beautiful Room Is
Empty, which further reveals the convulsions of feeling, belief, and
politics that shaped his complex, passionate, and singular hero, should
confirm his place in American letters.






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