EDMUND WHITE: Imagining Other Lives

EDMUND WHITE, America's most influential gay writer, is living -- and writing -- with AIDS. And the crisis continues.

In 1985, when the HIV blood test was first available, Edmund White insisted that he and his boyfriend take it. His lover was somewhat reluctant, but White insisted. "I'll be positive, you'll be negative, and then you'll leave me," White recalls telling him. "And I was right." And so America's most influential gay writer, a man whom Le Monde once called the most accomplished American novelist since Henry James, began to live with AIDS.

Since the publication of his first novel, Forgetting Elena, in 1973, White's Proustian prose style caught, if not the public eye at first, the eyes of the...

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