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Jay Parini: Empire of Self

Jay Parini: Empire of Self

A Life of Gore Vidal. USA 2015, 480 pp. illustrated, hardback,  39.95
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Random House
An intimate biography of Gore Vidal, one of the most accomplished, visible and controversial American novelists and cultural figures of the last hundred years. The product of thirty years of friendship and conversation with the gay author, Jay Parini’s »Empire of Self« probes behind the glittering surface of his colorful life to reveal the complex emotional and sexual truth underlying his celebrity-strewn life. But there is plenty of glittering surface as well - a virtual Who's Who of the 20th Century, from Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart through the Kennedys, Princess Margaret and the crème de la crème of Hollywood. The life of Gore Vidal was full of colorful incident, famous people, and lasting achievements that calls out for careful evocation and examination.