Author-activist Edmund White will Speak at Yale

Writer and AIDS activist Edmund White will read from his work on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m. in Room 208 of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. The event is free and the public is welcome.

White’s new novel, “The Farewell Symphony,” completes the autobiographical trilogy that he began with “A Boy’s Own Story” (1983) and “The Beautiful Room is Empty” (1988). Ambitious and deeply personal, the latest book presents a history of gay sexuality from the 1960s to the present. “The Farewell Symphony” tells the story of a gay man who has outlived most of his friends. It is also a journey of remembrance for the narrator that recounts his struggle to become a writer and his discovery of what it means to be gay. From the fragile optimism of the Stonewall riot in the late 1960s, through the exuberance of gay life in the 1970s and early 1980s, the author comes to the devastation of the AIDS epidemic, encompassing an entire generation and an individual life.

Among White’s other books are “Genet: A Biography” (1994) – which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award, plus “Forgetting Elena,” “Nocturnes for the King of Naples,” “States of Desire: Travels in Gay America” and “Caracole.”

White has taught literature and creative writing at Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU and Columbia, and was a professor of English at Brown. He served as executive director of the New York Institute for the Humanities. He has won a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award for Literature from the National Academy of Arts and Letters, and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres. He lives in Paris.

In addition to his writing, White is known for his outspoken advocacy for AIDS-related issues and for living many years after infection with the AIDS virus.

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