The famed writer Stephen Crane is traveling to a German clinic in search of a cure for the tuberculosis that threatens his life, in this novel from the author of The Flâneur, biographies of Jean Genet and Marcel Proust, and a trilogy of autobiographical novels. Knowing it may be his last chance, Crane dictates the story of "The Painted Boy," inspired by a real-life encounter. But as the story delves into the seedy underworld of turn-of-the-century Manhattan, Crane's health deteriorates and the outcome of the story becomes as critical as the author's life itself.
"When Edmund White writes about Stephen Crane, it is the case of one American master turning his attention to another. The book is a marvel of the subtle layers of story-telling, and at every layer it is fascinating, tragic and utterly beautiful."—Ann Patchett