Forever YOUNG

Novelist Edmund White wastes no time delving into the dark, uniquely funny side of the fashion world in Our Young Man (Bloomsbury), his newest chronicle of gay life during the emergence of AIDS. A chance encounter with devilish industry insider Pierre-Georges propels the humble and eternally youthful Guy to fame as a top ’70s and ’80s model, first in Paris, then New York. But after making a string of compromising, sometimes sadistic exchanges for worldly comforts, Guy finds it harder to reassure himself that he is the same poor boy from the provincial French town of Clermont-Ferrand. Like Guy, who comes to find most Americans puritanical and naive, White is a realist, penning characters who are only coy about their ages. He gorgeously lingers on every playful detail of the sex of the era. Ultimately, this sad, heartfelt, and comic coming-of-age story looks at both the stifling social pressure and near-total freedom that fueled then-magic nights at Fire Island.