EDMUND WHITE’S literary life has been guided by his preoccupations. Everything he writes is animated by these subjects. He would be the first to admit that they are not hard to discern; indeed, he named the chapters of his excellent memoir My Lives (2005) after each of them. They include, but are not limited to: his shrinks, his father, his mother, his hustlers, his women, his Europe, his masters, and his blonds. The Humble Lover touches in some manner on each of these interests.
The Humble Lover is White’s thirty-first published book. With an œuvre as vast as this, it feels a little beside the point to be disappointed by this new novel.
Carr Harkrader, a writer and critic in Chicago, has written for Necessary Fiction, The Washington Independent Review of Books, and The Assembly.