“Best-Kept Boy in the World: The Short, Scandalous Life of Denny Fouts, Muse to Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Isherwood” by Arthur Vanderbilt Released Riverdale Avenue Books Magnus Imprint
Riverdale, NY – October, 2014 -Best-Kept Boy in the World is the first book ever written about Denham “Denny” Fouts (1914-1948), the twentieth century's most famous male prostitute. He was a socialite and muse whose extraordinary life started off humbly in Jacksonville, Florida. But in short order, he befriended, and bedded, the rich and celebrated and in the process conquered the world.
No less an august figure than the young Gore Vidal was enchanted by Denny's special charms. He twice modeled characters on Denny in his fiction, saying it was a pity that Denny never wrote a memoir. To Vidal he was “un homme fatal.”
Truman Capote, who devoted a third of Answered Prayers to Denny's life story, found that “to watch him walk into a room was an experience. He was beyond being good-looking; he was the single most charming-looking person I've ever seen.”
Writer Christopher Isherwood was more to the point: he called Denny “the most expensive male prostitute in the world.” He thus served as the source for the character Paul in Isherwood's novel Down There on a Visit and appears frequently in Isherwood’s published diaries.
In his short life, Denny achieved a mythic status, and Best-Kept Boy in the World follows him into his rarefied world of barons and shipping tycoons, lords, princes, heirs of great fortunes, artists, and authors. Here is the story of an American original, a story with an amazing cast of unforgettable characters and extraordinary settings, the book Gore Vidal wished Denny had written.
About Arthur Vanderbilt
A graduate of Wesleyan University and University of Virginia School of Law, Arthur Vanderbilt is the author of many books of history, biography, memoirs, and essays. His books have been
selections of the Book-of-the-Month Club, Readers Digest’s “Today’s Best Nonfiction,” the Easton. Press series. He lives in New Jersey and Massachusetts.