A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir

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Viking, 1996 - Social Science - 219 pages
1 Review
What's a boy to do? An only child, a little chubby (and carrying it low). By age six already a regular in the Sears Husky Boys Department. Young Frankie is also gay, and he's trapped in the aluminum-sidinged, lawn-sprinklered, what-exit? wilds of New Jersey suburbia. Imagine Elton John born to an Italian-American Edith and Archie Bunker and you've got the picture.
A Boy Named Phyllis is Frank DeCaro's witty gem of a memoir about growing up among working-class Italian folk in Little Falls, New Jersey. There are the usual trials and tribulations between little Frankie and his parents, Marian and Frank Sr., but this is no angst-ridden, coming-of-age gay memoir. Frank is funny, and A Boy Names Phyllis is the antidote to such books.
It is the mid-1960s and the DeCaros have it all: a living room that no one is allowed to live in; a complete collection of cardboard cutout decorations for every holiday; an Entenmann's factory around the corner; and a killer lineup of Friday-night TV - The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, The Odd Couple, and, if you can stay awake long enough, Love, American Style. There's only one problem: instead of developing a crush on Laurie Partridge, Frankie gets a boner for Keith. He perfects a drop-dead Paul Lynde imitation, and ultimately finds liberation through Elton John and Disco.

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A BOY NAMED PHYLLIS: A Suburban Memoir

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

DeCaro, a humorist, newspaper columnist, and contributing editor of Martha Stewart Living, offers an insistently breezy memoir of growing up gay in New Jersey. DeCaro was born in 1962, the only child ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - perpstu - LibraryThing

Frank DeCaro is one of my favorite radio hosts. He currently has a show full of "brunchtime fun" on Sirius OutQ that makes me laugh every day. A Boy Named Phyllis is a very fun account of growing up ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Frank DeCaro is a writer and performer who was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and hosts his own live national talk show The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius Satellite. DeCaro's books are A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir, Unmistakably Mackie: The Fashion and Fantasy of Bob Mackie, and The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. His comic essays are included in Out, Loud, & Laughing, Out in All Directions, How to Live a Sitcom Life, Promotion in the Advertising Environment, and The Q Guide to the Golden Girls.

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