Deeply impressive, this book tells the story of Jean Genet from sources that Edmund White garnered from all over France. Known first for his poetry, then novels, then his plays, then his works in criticism, Genet was an anomaly in world literature. He endlessly revised his work, sometimes then withdrawing them after many years of them being read and performed. Mercurial, unhappy, he rarely really lived anywhere, but lived around the world in hotel rooms, having his mail delivered to his publisher. His life peaked early; his novels were well received as modernist works, and his plays were performed world-wide. After that, he repudiated much of what he'd done, and worked for the downtrodden of the world -- the Palestinians, the Black Panthers. It is an oftentimes touching story, although as a person Genet was not much the icon to be admired. White knows that and while admiring the works, the man is thoroughly examined and is lacking in the final analysis.