Furman University’s Nick Radel, an English professor, offers a glimpse into his upcoming biography of Edmund White, one of America’s most renowned gay writers. In Los Angeles Review of Books, Radel describes the uncommon allyship among White and his friends and the shifting social climate regarding sexuality and identity that was emerging as the 1950s transitioned to the 60s.
In the article, Radel writes, “White helped change America. Along with those other writers at the forefront of creating a new gay literature in the 1970s and ’80s, he adapted the traditional American novel of minority struggle into a story of white middle-class homosexuality. In so doing, he helped domesticate gayness, bringing it to the attention of a larger public who, for the most part, saw it in terms of criminality and degeneracy.”