Michael Arditti

Boy’s Own Stuff

Chaos

By

Bloomsbury 208pp £8.99 order from our bookshop

As an epigraph to his new book, Edmund White quotes from Gide’s The Counterfeiters: ‘Nothing happens to me that I don’t put into it – everything I see, everything I know.’ Few contemporary novelists have mined their lives so exhaustively as White, most notably in the autobiographical trilogy that begins with A Boy’s Own Story, in which the protagonist’s progress from Midwestern isolation to Manhattan hedonism is presented as that of an American ‘Everygay’.

In 2005 White published an autobiography, My Lives, which in its graphic sexual description was either courageous in its candour or embarrassing in its exhibitionism, according to taste. It seemed as if the seam of personal experience had been exhausted, and he turned to idiosyncratic historical fiction with Hotel de Dream and Fanny. However, he returns to predominantly autobiographical themes in Chaos, a collection of five stories and the titular novella.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,