States of Desire Revisited
Travels in Gay America
The Village Voice calls Edmund White “the finest stylist working in candidly
States of Desire Revisited looks back from the twenty-first century at a pivotal
moment in the late 1970s: Gay Liberation was a new and flourishing movement
of creative culture, political activism, and sexual freedom, just before the 1980s
devastation of AIDS. Edmund White traveled America, recording impressions of
gay individuals and communities that remain perceptive and captivating today.
He noted politicos in D.C. working the system, in-fighting radicals in New York
and San Francisco, butch guys in Houston and self-loathing but courteous gentlemen
in Memphis, the “Fifties in Deep Freeze” in Kansas City, progressive thinkers
with conservative style in Minneapolis and Portland, wealth and beauty in Los
Angeles, and, in Santa Fe, a desert retreat for older gays and lesbians since the
White frames those past travels with a brief, bracing review of gay America
since the 1970s (“now we were all supposed to settle down with a partner in the
suburbs and adopt a Korean daughter”), and a reflection on how Internet culture
has diminished unique gay places and scenes but brought isolated individuals
into a global GLBTQ community.
Edmund White is the author of more than twenty books, including A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, The
Farewell Symphony, My Lives, City Boy, and Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris. He lives in New York City and teaches creative writing at Princeton University.
“States of Desire was the first post–gay lib book of specifically gay travel writing. . . . Although the cities were diverse, Edmund White sought to identify what they had in common by way of a national gay community.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“Edmund White’s groundbreaking 1980 non-fiction book States of Desire, which received high praise from Christopher Isherwood, Fran Lebowitz and Andrew Holleran upon its publication, has been reissued in an expanded edition as States of Desire Revisited: Travels in Gay America [with] a new introduction by White.”
—New York TimesBay Area Reporter
“Commands attention and respect. . . .
Mr. White doesn't so much evoke the people he talks to as he dismantles them down to their cogs and springs.”
—New York Times
“Edmund White is one of the few living writers who has the capacity to turn me into a good listener. States of Desire is consistently smart and funny.”
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LC: 2014007459 HQ
364 pp. 5.5 x 8