The Beautiful Room Is Empty

The Beautiful Room Is Empty

By Edmund White

Vintage, Paperback, 9780679755401, 240pp.

Publication Date: October 1994


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

About the Author
An esteemed novelist and cultural critic, Edmund White is the author of many books, including: the autobiographical novel A Boy s Own Story; a previous memoir, My Lives; and most recently a biography of poet Arthur Rimbaud. He was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for City Boy. White teaches writing at Princeton University and lives in New York City.