Inside A Pearl
Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris by Edmund White
first published 2014, hardcover
White is an acclaimed novelist, essayist, biographer of Genet and Proust, and a self-described “archaeologist of gossip.” In his third memoir, he recounts the 15 years he spent in France, cataloging the famous people he met, interviewed, befriended, and slept with. In fact, the circles White moved in were so tight and overlapping, it appears that the only people he knew who were not prominent were the men he picked up. White is renowned for the purity of his style and for his frank depictions of sex, and he is in peak form here. For White, identity is sexual identity. He records the tastes and appetites of dear friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers. For him, sex—whether they have it, whom they have it with, how
they have it—is their defining characteristic. He is wise in his portrayal of the French, and there are tender moments, notably his recollections of his old friend Marie-Claude (MC), who did so much to introduce him to Paris and its peculiarities. But his principal concerns are fame, money, and, yes, sex.
— Michael Autrey
December 1, 2013, issue of Booklist