A Previous Life

Category: Book
By (author): White, Edmund
Subject:  FICTION / Gay
  FICTION / Humorous / General
  FICTION / Literary
  QUEER & TRANS / Fiction
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Published: January 2022
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 9.25in x 6.12in
Our Price:
$ 35.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

A daring, category-confounding, and ruthlessly funny novel from National Book Award honored author Edmund White that explores polyamory and bisexuality, ageing and love.

Sicilian aristocrat and musician, Ruggero, and his younger American wife, Constance, agree to break their marital silence and write their Confessions. Until now they had a ban on speaking about the past, since transparency had wrecked their previous marriages. As the two alternate reading the memoirs they've written about their lives, Constance reveals her multiple marriages to older men, and Ruggero details the affairs he's had with men and women across his lifetime-most importantly his passionate affair with the author Edmund White.

Sweeping outward from the isolated Swiss ski chalet where the couple reads to travel through Europe and the United States, White's new novel pushes for a broader understanding of sexual orientation and pairs humor and truth to create his most fascinating and complex characters to date. As in all of White's earlier novels, this is a searing, scintillating take on physical beauty and its inevitable decline. But in this experimental new mode-one where the author has laid himself bare as a secondary character-White explores the themes of love and age through numerous eyes, hearts and minds.
Delightful, irreverent, and experimental, A Previous Life proves once more why White is considered a master of American literature.

Review Quote*

"Elegant, erudite, raunchy and fun, America's great Man of Letters is working at the top of his form, giving us a pair of portraits hung against the pattern of history. What a joy to read this master of prose and invention!" -Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize winning author of LESS

"The best book in Edmund White's long and extraordinary career." -Benjamin Moser, Pulitzer Prize winning author of SONTAG: HER LIFE AND WORK

"White's narrative brilliance ... deliver[s] an epic that covers five decades, several precisely observed cultures and a host of indelible characters in a little under 300 pages. ... The rocket fuel that propels these abrupt plot twists past the slightest suspicion of implausibility is the author's trademark narrative virtuosity and high-octane erudition." -New York Times Book Review on A SAINT FROM TEXAS

"The books by 80-year-old American novelist, memoirist and essayist Edmund White-honest, fierce and joyful explorations of love, sex and family-have been breaking boundaries and engaging readers for nearly 50 years." -AARP

"White's 28th book wraps his renowned erudition in a package of high-spirited family weirdness and narrative fireworks. Magnifique!" -People Magazine on A SAINT FROM TEXAS

"Darkly whimsical…White skillfully invites readers into an organized mess of a world filled with equal parts deceit and desire. It is a world full of sinners and saints, one that asks us to question what turns some of us into one and some of us into the other." -The Associated Press on A SAINT FROM TEXAS

"White's project, as always, is to show us the human: the human body as defined by its urges and needs, and the human heart as it evolves through time and experience. In A Previous Life, he also gives us daring experiments of form, of autofiction, and of storytelling. Fresh and inventive and wise." -Rebecca Makkai, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist THE GREAT BELIEVERS

"A dizzyingly enticing and kaleidoscopic take on the spectrum of sexual experiences." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

Biographical NoteEdmund White is the author of many novels, including A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, The Farewell Symphony, and Our Young Man. His nonfiction includes City Boy, Inside a Pearl, The Unpunished Vice, and other memoirs; The Flâneur, about Paris; and literary biographies and essays. He was named the 2018 winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction and received the 2019 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.