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Edmund White
Edmund White — Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 at 6PM — Labyrinth Books Princeton

When Edmund White moved to Paris in 1983, leaving New York City in the midst of the AIDS crisis, he was forty-three years old, couldn’t speak French, and only knew two people in the entire city. He will be at Labyrinth to read from his new memoir of this time; please join us.

In middle age, White discovered the new anxieties and pleasures of mastering a new culture. When he left Paris fifteen years later to take a teaching position in the U.S., he was fluent enough to broadcast on French radio and TV, and in his work as a journalist, he’d made the acquaintance of everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Catherine Deneuve to Michel Foucault. He’d also developed a close friendship with an older woman, Marie-Claude, through which he’d come to understand French life and culture in a deeper way.

The book’s title evokes the Parisian landscape in the eternal mists and the half-light, the serenity of the city compared to the New York White had known (and vividly recalled in City Boy). White fell headily in love with the city and its culture: both intoxicated and intellectually stimulated. Inside a Pearl is a memoir which gossips and ruminates, and offers a brilliant examination of a city and a culture eternally imbued with an aura of enchantment.

Edmund White is the author of many acclaimed novels, memoirs, and critical works. He is the definitive biographer of Jean Genet and also wrote lives of Marcel Proust and Arthur Rimbaud. His most recent book is The Flaneur. White was made an officer in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and teaches in the creative writing program at Princeton University.

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