A Boy's Own Story: A Novel, Book 1

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Open Road Media, Dec 23, 2014 - Fiction - 256 pages
7 Reviews
“An extraordinary novel” about growing up gay in the 1950s American Midwest (The New York Times Book Review).

Critically lauded upon its initial publication in 1982 for its pioneering depiction of homosexuality, A Boy’s Own Story is a moving tale about coming-of-age in midcentury America.

With searing clarity and unabashed wit, Edmund White’s unnamed protagonist yearns for what he knows to be shameful. He navigates an uneasy relationship with his father, confounds first loves, and faces disdain from his peers at school. In the embrace of another, he discovers the sincere and clumsy pleasures of adolescent sexuality. But for boys in the 1950s, these desires were unthinkable. Looking back on his experiences, the narrator notes, “I see now that what I wanted was to be loved by men and to love them back but not to be a homosexual.”

From a winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, this trailblazing autobiographical story of one boy’s youth is a moving, tender, and heartbreaking portrait of what it means to grow up.

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User Review  - starbox - LibraryThing

"What I wanted was to be loved by men and love them back but not to be a homosexual" By sally tarbox on 3 June 2018 Format: Paperback Very readable and vivid account of the author's teens, growing up ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - booklover3258 - LibraryThing

I made it to page 16 and I couldn't read anymore. It is truly a personal thing for me than anything. It was not my type of book I would normally read but I gave it a shot. After 15 pages, I had to stop. Read full review


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About the author (2014)

Edmund White is one of America’s preeminent twentieth-century writers. His fiction, essays, biography, and journalism explore the gay experience in the United States, from the closeted 1950s to the AIDS crisis. His autobiographical novel, A Boy’s Own Story (1982), is a classic coming-of-age tale that cemented his place as a fiction author. White’s works have earned and been shortlisted for numerous honors, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, which he received for the biography Genet in 1993. White has also received the PEN/Saul Bellow and Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Awards for Lifetime Achievement and is the namesake of the organization’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. He is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.

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