Edmund White Talks Old Tricks, Blow Jobs and the Girth of Poet James Schuyler at White Swallow Reading Series

"James Schuyler was immense…fatter than I am."
April 05, 2012

 

(Edmund White)

In the very Parisian-feeling downstairs area at Cornelia Street Cafe (a simple and very apt name for this cramped, creative space) the White Swallow Reading Series hosted its most recent event with renowned gay writer Edmund White, which is only fitting for an author perhaps best known for his biography of Jean Genet as well as a compendium of Parisian meanderings entitled The Flâneur. After an introduction by host (and former Next Magazine books columnist) Angelo Nikolopoulos, who read a brief poem by James Schuyler, Mr. White reverted to his trademark bout of namedropping, reminiscing about the time he spent with the late Schuyler: "James Schuyler was immense…fatter than I am."

He then proceeded to read from his new novel Jack Holmes and His Friend, which takes place in 1960s Manhattan and features an old-fashioned trick here and there, as well as the beginnings of a serious romantic connection in a "city [that] swallowed every anecdote."

Also on hand to read from new work was celebrated author Susanna Moore, whom Nikolopoulos introduced by revealing he had "a huge gay boy crush on her." To this Moore replied, "What would be the girl-straight version of a gay boy crush? Just a crush, I suppose." In her mannered and very stately voice, Moore read from her forthcoming The Life of Objects, which included "a champagne brunch and a Coco Chanel sighting—perfect for a gay audience!" Nikolopoulos later praised. 

To open the evening, acclaimed author (and co-chair of the Lambda Literary FoundationDavid McConnell read from his newest book American Honor Killings: Ecstasies of Violence and Crazed Sexual Dignity Among Young Men, which according to the White Swallow "will be ground-breaking non-fiction, a reappraisal and narratives of hate crimes."