Judged by its cover: A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White - “This edition above is the first British publication by Picador in paperback but the cover image had already been used in the US. As well as being a very beautiful photograph, it is also a very evocative one, largely through its association with this book. There was a time when this book sat on the bedside table of every young gay man in the country…The photograph was taken as the result of a chance meeting between the photographer Dan Weaks (sometimes Weeks) and Robert L. Rosen, the young man in the picture in 1982…Things don’t start to go pear shaped until two years later when finally a copy of the book makes its way somehow into the hands of one of Robert’s schoolmates…Inevitably legal action followed…Rosen had signed a model release form but, despite appearances, when the photograph was taken he was only 14 years old and so the ‘contract’ that a model release form sets up would have been null and void. A $30m law suit followed from the boy’s father.”*I’ve never heard this story; I always thought this was an illustration and not a photograph. The cover (equally as fetching as the novel) was motivation enough to entice a generation of young adult gay guys to pick up the book.

Judged by its cover: A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White - “This edition above is the first British publication by Picador in paperback but the cover image had already been used in the US. As well as being a very beautiful photograph, it is also a very evocative one, largely through its association with this book. There was a time when this book sat on the bedside table of every young gay man in the country…The photograph was taken as the result of a chance meeting between the photographer Dan Weaks (sometimes Weeks) and Robert L. Rosen, the young man in the picture in 1982…Things don’t start to go pear shaped until two years later when finally a copy of the book makes its way somehow into the hands of one of Robert’s schoolmates…Inevitably legal action followed…Rosen had signed a model release form but, despite appearances, when the photograph was taken he was only 14 years old and so the ‘contract’ that a model release form sets up would have been null and void. A $30m law suit followed from the boy’s father.”

*I’ve never heard this story; I always thought this was an illustration and not a photograph. The cover (equally as fetching as the novel) was motivation enough to entice a generation of young adult gay guys to pick up the book.

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    I thought it was an illustration too. I was one of those guys, blushing as I bought the book and feeling things shift...