Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Top 10 New York books

Edmund White's novels include Fanny: A Fiction, A Boy's Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, and A Married Man. He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, The Flâneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, and, most recently, his memoir, My Lives.

His latest novel is Hotel de Dream.

For the Guardian, White named his top ten New York books.

One title on the list:
Collected Stories by John Cheever

Brought together by the Library of America, these stories are often about well-heeled WASPs living on the Upper East Side or in exurbia, the world of Martini-drinking executives and their bored, brittle wives. Many of these stories were originally written for the New Yorker, but they are as much fairytale as sociology. In "The Country Husband", a man survives a plane crash but when he returns to his house none of the members of his family listen to his story; they're all too immersed in their own activities. The husband becomes bewitched by the teenaged babysitter – but nothing comes of this enchantment except beautiful prose.
Read about another book on White's list.

The Page 99 Test: Edmund White's Hotel de Dream.

Also see: The Great New York City Novel; Frances Kiernan's five best books about New York society; Russell Shorto's five best books on the history of New York City; and Joanna Smith Rakoff's five favorite books of New York stories.

--Marshal Zeringue