Picks and Pans Review: How to Become a Virgin

updated 02/08/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/08/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Quentin Crisp

"To me everyone is interesting who will talk about himself but, when I said this in Toronto, I was laughed to scorn by one of the city's drama critics. I have therefore since then revised this statement. I now claim that everyone is interesting who will tell the truth about himself." Since Quentin Crisp, the 74-year-old author of The Naked Civil Servant, always tells the truth about himself, his writing is witty, lively and a pleasure to read. This second autobiography details his experiences since publishing the first, Civil Servant. A TV documentary was based on it. He became a talk-show figure and traveled to the U.S., Canada and Australia to find that life—on his terms—was beautiful. Nothing is forbidden here: his impoverished childhood, utter passiveness, a pitiful job as a nude model in art schools, homosexuality. And yet there is nothing offensive about the subjects he chooses to comment on. His view of the world is peculiar, perhaps, but his elegant writing validates both it and the man himself. (St. Martin's, $9.95)

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