Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies, by Jay Parini

This biography of Gore Vidal, one of the most controversial American novelists and cultural figures of the past century, is the product of 30 years of friendship and conversation.

Product details:

  • Author: Jay Parini
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • RRP: Hardback: $59.99

Every Time a Friend Succeeds Something Inside Me Dies book cover


Jay Parini's biography probes behind Vidal's facade to reveal the complex emotional and sexual truth underlying his celebrity life.

But there is plenty of glittering surface as well – a virtual who's who of the 'American century', from Eleanor Roosevelt on down.

The life of Gore Vidal was an amazingly full one; a life of colourful incident, famous people and lasting achievements, which calls for careful examination.

Through Jay Parini's eyes and words comes an accessible, entertaining story that puts the life and times of one of the great American figures of the post-war era into context, that introduces the author to a generation who didn't know him before and looks behind the scenes at the man and his work in frank ways never possible before his death.

Parini, provided with access to Vidal's life and his papers, excavates buried skeletons, but never loses sight of his respect for Vidal and his gifts.

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