Jack Cullen

An Evening With Edmund White

American novelist Edmund White will be touching down in London next month


This event is no longer happening, as Edmund White has cancelled his UK tour due to health reasons. Everyone at GT wishes him a speedy recovery.


He's going to be hosting a discussion on his latest book Jack Holmes And His Friend. Washed down with wine in true Whitian style and set amongst a rather fitting backdrop – the new Bedford Square home of his UK publishers Bloomsbury – this rare literary opportunity promises to be a fine evening.

Widely loved for his autobiographical novel A Boy’s Own Story (which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year) Edmund White has also written several important non-fiction books like The Joys of Gay Sex and of course his memoirs City Boy which the Guardian published a series of exclusive extracts from in 2009. Widely-praised for his vivid documentation of both New York and Paris during the terrifying height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, White is also noted for his daring humour, unique and memorable metaphors for homosexual acts (some touching, others more raw!), and a fulfilling enigmatic celebration of gay culture that pervades all that he writes.

You need to order tickets quickly for this as it is a “reading group” event, which means Bloomsbury actually send you a hardback first edition of Jack Holmes And His Friendby post (included in the ticket price) prior to the evening. If you book tickets this week then the book should arrive next week, giving you plenty of time to read it – depending what’s happening on Grindr of course.

Jack Holmes And His Friend is White’s first novel in seven years, due to the interception of his award-winning memoirs. It focuses on a theme that most of us can relate to, the gay man who falls in love with a compassionate straight friend. White builds this classic motif into a deep and enriching adventure, painting a vibrant portrait of his central characters Jack and Will, as they go from college into journalistic careers and oscillate along the riffs of various relationships, sexual partners and mutual friends. But will they ever find the right moment to stop and explore that livewire that runs between them? Funny, sexual and in places heartbreaking, Jack Holmes And His Friend is a fantastic gay novel that is well worth reading even if you can’t make it down to London for the 31 May.

We really do recommend this event – a chance to meet and chat with the 72-year-old Edmund White himself, arguably the world’s greatest living gay writer.

Book tickets with Bloomsbury for the Edmund White book club here.

More from Jack Cullen