Amour No More

Edmund White sketches the strained romance between an American and a younger Frenchman.
photo: Barbara Confino
Edmund White sketches the strained romance between an American and a younger Frenchman.

Details

The Married Man
By Edmund White
Knopf, 323 pp., $25
Buy this book

Even more damaging to the book's narrative, however, is the sense that it's been driven more by White's need to record the events of his life with his French lover than by his desire to shape a novel. This is a problem for any writer dealing with largely autobiographical material, but White's already proven he can solve it in A Boy's Own Story and The Beautiful Room Is Empty. Here, he often seems incapable of getting beyond the accumulation of petty details and pointless incident. White is too elegant a stylist to allow the book to feel compulsive or confessional; he's never mawkish, rarely self-serving. Yet he fails to reimagine or transform his romance, not because he's reticent (he's hardly that), but because he can't seem to stand back from the truth and craft it into engaging fiction. Though he turns Julien's death—which, like Sorin's, occurs on an ill-advised vacation in Morocco—into a terrible and compelling tour de force where every moment counts, White bloats The Married Man with so many other all-too-real moments that its narrative splinters and breaks, and his sad histoire gets lost in the wreckage.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
 
New York Concert Tickets
Loading...