Jack Holmes and His Friend, By Edmund White
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Saturday 05 January 2013
Wise, droll and warm, this novel tracks the long "bromance" of a trend-hopping gay journalist and his straight best mate - an erring family man from an old Virginia clan - from Mad Men days into the Aids-haunted Eighties.
As a chronicle of Manhattan manners, it has a robust precision. But the book shines as a new Symposium: a pin-sharp yet large-hearted dialogue about love and loss.
Jack and Will alike struggle to square devotion with desire. For Jack, "people are obstacle courses". White tells us how to fall over them with grace.
Arts & Ents blogs
Thirteen-year-old Conor awakes in bed one night to discover that the yew tree outside his house has ...
It’s hard not to feel sorry for doe-eyed Andy. He spends months pining after Louise, has huge nostr...
Fragility of life looms large over an episode that closes with the scarring on Julie's stomach. Whil...
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Special Report: US troops are stationed in Japan to protect the nation. But to sex workers in Okinawa, they bring fear, not security
- 4 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria