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.
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