“I didn’t write In One Person because I have a gay son,” the storyteller says outright in One when asked just that — outright — by fellow grand novelist (and good, good friend) Edmund White.
"Indeed, according to Irving, the notes for the new tale began long before he knew his son, Everett, leaned that way. He confesses now, “I told Everett I was worried how some journalists will seize upon the story of my having a gay son as the only story, how they will make it a cause-and-effect tale — the familiar laziness that believes everything in fiction is autobiographical.”
"But some things are, well, more autobiographical than others — as White makes clear in his own latest novel, Jack Holmes and His Friend, that is … OK … “based a bit” on Irving’s son!"
Irving's novel goes on sale today. If you're inclined to buy it, get it from an indie bookstore or chain or online retailer that feeds the NYT bestseller list. In a rare show of bravery, and despite that jacket, Random House actually plays up the bi aspect on the flap copy. It would be nice if the book doesn't flop.