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Nocturnes for the King of Naples

Nocturnes for the King of Naples

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By: Edmund White

"Can't sleep tonight. Was lying in bed reading the biography of a great man whose genius deserted him . . . The genius who deserted me was you." In a series of late-night letters, gorgeous, funny, crammed with memory, sensuality, and regret, a seducer calls across the years to the great love of his youth: an older, revered expatriate known, in his adoptive city, as the King of Naples. As the narrator evokes their affair, in scenes of beauty and remorse, his memories range over the men who came after and before, especially the seductive father who still haunts his erotic imagination.

First published in 1975, before the trilogy of frankly autobiographical novels that made him famous, Nocturnes for the King of Naples reveals Edmund White at his most poetic, playful, and evocative, a magician on the level of James Salter, James Merrill, or Vladimir Nabokov.

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