Gore Vidal: A Biography
Novelist, cultural critic, essayist, historian, comic satirist, image maker, provocateur, actor, homosexual, bisexual...controversial, brilliant, confrontational, unflinching, cynical, idealistic...finding words to describe Gore Vidal is never difficult. And yet, an accurate picture of this multifaceted chameleon has eluded us until now. Here, at last, is a vastly entertaining biography of an American icon.
From his Washington childhood, a world of high political and social connections and domestic turmoil, to his Exeter education and U.S. Army experiences; from his Hollywood and television career to his literary life as a novelist, playwright, and essayist; from his friendships and feuds with Tennessee Williams, Ana´s Nin, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and William Buckley to his exploration of homosexuality and celebration of bisexuality; from his cool satirical analyses of "the rich, the famous and the powerful" to his projection of himself onto the national stage of television talk shows and political ambition, Gore Vidal has been both participant in and spectator at the centers of American power. No other twentieth-century figure has moved so easily and confidently, and had such a profound effect, in the disparate worlds of literature, drama, film, politics, historical debate, and the culture wars.
Fred Kaplan enjoyed complete access to Vidal's papers, letters, and private photographs, as well as television and newsreel footage, but was guaranteed a free hand by Vidal to write as he saw fit. The result is a lively, witty, and textured life of a literary colossus.
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In Manhattan, Howard and Nina had made the one-bedroom apartment at 360
East Fifty-fifth Street comfortable, a place where both men stayed and where they
sometimes entertained. It was considered Howard's apartment. Miles White down
At 416, when a tenant left and the vacant parlor floor became their two-bedroom
apartment, Howard gave up 360 East Fifty-fifth Street. They soon hosted a fortieth
-birthday party for Paul Newman at the new apartment. "At last," Howard felt, "we
In Rome it was the practice to take the boys back to the apartment. He'd pay them
and give them clothes. They were very sweet. A few times I'd be sitting out in the
front room with Howard. Gore would come in with someone and introduce him.
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GORE VIDAL: A BiographyUser Review - Kirkus
Although Kaplan has declared, "I prefer my subjects dead," such as Dickens (1988) and Henry James (1992), he more than rises to the task in this lively biography of the prolific, controversial author ... Read full review
Gore Vidal: a biographyUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Queens College and CUNY's Graduate Center, Kaplan relied on interviews, newsreel and TV footage, and full access to Vidal's papers for this biography. Read full review