2 December 2014
This lot is offered without a reserve
WHITE, Edmund (b. 1940). A Boy’s Own Story. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1982. 8°, original cloth-backed boards; dust jacket.
FIRST EDITION. Most of White’s annotations are biographical, drawing connections between the events and characters in the story and his own life. “This became my best-known novel,” he tells us at the outset. “When I wrote it I was still a drunk, and I’d ‘take a rest’ after each chapter.” He “really did have a marionette show” on his third birthday. “My father owned a summer house – and a speedboat—on Walloon Lake, Michigan.” On the Wellingtons (p.114), White notes: “Steve Turner and his father, who died young.” The character “Howie = Jack McQuaid.” “Chuck = Tom McGuune.” A Boy’s Own Story formed the first part of a trilogy, followed by The Beautiful Room is Empty (1988) and The Farewell Symphony (1997). But White had been writing about gay themes and advocating on behalf of equal rights since the 1970s. In 1977 he co-authored The Joy of Gay Sex and in 1980 published the seminal States of Desire: Travels Through Gay America (1980). The same year that A Boy’s Own Story appeared, and the AIDS crisis spiraled out of control, White helped form the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York. He remains at the forefront of the battle for free expression among gay men and women. In a recent review of books on the fight for marriage equality, White wonders whether gays are in danger of suppressing aspects of their identities in order to win acceptance from the “mainstream.” “We are told that Americans are accepting ‘gays and lesbians…as normal, loving, decent members of our lives and our communities.’ I shouldn’t quibble, but as a gay man in his seventies I don’t quite recognize in that description most of the flamboyant, creative, edgy, promiscuous, deeply urban gays I have known.” Perhaps such a notion is “a small enough price. I can’t decide.”
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
This lot is offered without reserve.
The Plantin Polyglot bible — offered in London on 11 July — makes an emotional homecoming to the Antwerp printing press where it was produced some 450 years ago
As Christie’s offers 178 works from his personal collection, the illustrator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory offers us a glimpse of his creative process
Mark Wiltshire, Associate Specialist in Science & Books, walks us through the history of Christianity’s most influential printed text
The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale totals £128,081,750, with works by Picasso and a record-breaking Franz Marc painting also achieving top prices
Alastair Smart profiles the life and work of the Pre-Raphaelite artist described by Burne-Jones as ‘the best of us all’ — illustrated with works offered in July