Our Young Man follows the life of a gorgeous Frenchman, Guy, as he goes from the industrial city of Clermont-Ferrand to the top of the modeling profession in New York City's fashion world, becoming the darling of Fire Island's gay community. Like Wilde's Dorian Grey, Guy never seems to age; at thirty-five he is still modeling, still enjoying lavish gifts from older men who believe he's twenty-three--though their attentions always come at a price. Ambivalently, Guy lets them believe, driven especially by the memory of growing up poor, until he finds he needs the lie to secure not only wealth, but love itself. Surveying the full spectrum of gay amorous life through the disco era and into the age of AIDS, Edmund White (who worked at Vogue for ten years) explores the power of physical beauty--to fascinate, to enslave, and to deceive--with sparkling wit and pathos.
About the Author
Edmund White (b. Ohio, USA, 1940) is the author of many critically acclaimed books, the most recent being The Flaneur. He was made an officer in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and won a literary prize from the Festival of Deauville. He now teaches at Princeton University. His acclaimed autobiography, My Lives, was published by Bloomsbury in 2006, while his play, Terre Haute, was published by Methuen Drama in 2007.
"White’s prose is as fresh as a series of slaps to the face, filled with reckless energy . . . [Our Young Man] plays with [Oscar] Wilde’s conceit in wily, unexpected ways as it speeds you along with its winningly hectic prose." - New York Times Book Review
"White wastes no time delving into the dark, uniquely funny side of the fashion world . . . [A] sad, heartfelt, and comic coming-of-age story." - Interview
"White has proven himself again and again to be one of the finest storytellers of his generation . . . an author who entices his readers with plots that come honey-drizzled in language to which the rest of us can only aspire. White's latest, Our Young Man, displays an author at his peak and fully in control . . . Sleek, witty, a bit raunchy, and fully enticing and entertaining." - New York Journal of Books
"We meet Guy at the dawn of the AIDS crisis, but the novel does the remarkable work of telling Guy’s story with playfulness and enough air that although it’s a substantial work of storytelling, it floats." - Gawker
"Artful . . . An amused tale of our endless capacity for idiocy in the face of stunning beauty . . . All human life is here . . . Trauma, misunderstanding and self-regard: out of these materials White creates not a tragedy but a little human comedy." - Times Literary Supplement