The Beautiful Room Is Empty: A Novel

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 8, 2010 - Fiction - 240 pages
2 Reviews
When the narrator of White's poised yet scalding autobiographical novel first embarks on his sexual odyssey, it is the 1950s, and America is "a big gray country of families on drowsy holiday." That country has no room for a scholarly teenager with guilty but insatiable stirrings toward other men. Moving from a Midwestern college to the Stonewall Tavern on the night of the first gay uprising--and populated by eloquent queens, butch poseurs, and a fearfully incompetent shrink--The Beautiful Room is Empty conflates the acts of coming out and coming of age.

"With intelligence, candor, humor--and anger--White explores the most insidious aspects of oppression.... An impressive novel."--Washington Post book World
 

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While they were behaving indecorously, our neurotic, white, middle-class gay narrator tried to distance himself from those unruly "Latinos" and "queens" who made the Stonewall riots, but once it was ... Read full review

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A tour-de-force
White has written a tour-de-force coming of age novel that deals sensitively with homosexuality in the 1950s and 1960s leading to the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969
. Compares favorably with Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar for its importance in the historical development of the serious gay literary novel. 

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
35
Section 3
48
Section 4
71
Section 5
115
Section 6
145
Section 7
160
Section 8
186
Section 9
199
Section 10
209
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Edmund White is the author of the novels Fanny: A Fiction, A Boy's Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, and The Married Man; a biography of Jean Genet; a study of Marcel Proust; and, most recently, a memoir, My Lives. Having lived in Paris for many years, he has now settled in New York, and he teaches at Princeton University.

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