In Bed with Gore Vidal 

Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master

Tim Teeman


"Tim Teeman's biography of Gore Vidal is the perfect combination of racy gossip—from steamy celebrity liaisons to hustlers in Rome—and penetrating analysis. It shows how a complicated attitude to sex and sexuality shaped an author's life and work. An original, intriguing and necessary portrait of an American icon.”

— Edmund White, author of City Boy


Gore Vidal, who died in July 2012, claimed there was no such thing as "gay,” only gay sexual acts. But what was the truth about his sex life and sexuality—and how did it affect and influence his writing and public life? In In Bed with Gore Vidal: Hustlers, Hollywood, and the Private World of an American Master, Tim Teeman interviews many of Vidal's closest family and friends, including Claire Bloom and Susan Sarandon, as well as surveying Vidal's own rich personal archive, to build a well-rounded portrait of who this lion of American letters really was away from the page. 

Here, revealed for the first time, Teeman discovers the Hollywood stars Vidal slept with and the reality of his life with partner Howard Austen—and the hustlers they both enjoyed. Was Vidal's true love really a boy from prep school? Was Vidal really, as he said, bisexual, and if so how close did he really get to marrying women, including Claire Bloom and Joanne Woodward? And if Vidal really was gay, why did he not want to say so – was it more personal than an intellectual objection to being defined? Did his own sex secrets underpin a legal fight with adversary William F. Buckley, still being played out after his death? 

Much as Vidal fought against being categorized, Teeman shows how he also proved himself to be a pugnacious advocate for gay sexual freedom in his books, articles, and high-profile media appearances. Teeman also, for the first time, vividly and movingly evokes the final, painful, and tragic years of Vidal's life, as he descended into alcoholism and dementia, his death, and the bitter, contentious legacy he has left behind. 


Praise for In Bed with Gore Vidal

"Sex with hustlers and Hollywood stars—for all his insistence that sexuality did not define him, Gore Vidal sure got around. And while he didn’t hit the streets with placards, he was still, in many ways, a gay rights revolutionary. Tim Teeman's biography, full of new material and interviews, reveals how Vidal’s sexuality and sex life influenced his life and his work — and tells, for the first time, the moving story of his last years. With deftness, wit, intelligence, and a journalist's nose for a good story, Teeman pulls back the curtain on an American icon. It seems Gore Vidal can still surprise us. What a page-turner!" —William J. Mann, author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn and Hello, Gorgeous: Becoming Barbra Streisand

 "Gore Vidal was a good friend for over sixty years. If you want to know who Gore really was, read In Bed with Gore Vidal, which uncovers, and evokes, his complicated private life and how that influenced his wider life, writing, and politics. Lost loves, sex with hustlers, a life with Howard Austen, his relationships with women and the truth about his sexuality: this is a juicy, intelligent, and honest portrait of a dear friend and exceptional writer and man." — Scotty Bowers, author of Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars

About the author: Tim Teeman is a journalist, author and broadcaster. For fourteen years he worked as an editor, feature writer, and interviewer for The Times of London, most recently as their US Correspondent, in which he covered stories like Hurricane Sandy and profiled many celebrities and public figures, including Woody Allen, George Clooney, and Liza Minnelli. He was previously the paper’s Arts and Entertainment Editor. He has also contributed to publications including Elle, The New Statesman, The Guardian, The Independent, Independent on Sunday, Attitude, and Time Out, and has appeared on TV and radio as a commentator on news events and popular culture. In Bed with Gore Vidal is his first book. He lives in New York City



Digital edition, $9.99, ISBN: 978-1-62601-040-6

Trade paper edition, $19.99, ISBN: 978-1-62601-041-3

259 pages, 5 ½ x 8 ¼