From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant: A Novel

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Penguin, Jan 5, 2012 - Fiction - 320 pages
8 Reviews

Fashionistas and g-men clash in a mastermindful debut

Boyet Hernandez is a small man with a big American dream when he arrives in New York in 2002, fresh out of fashion school in the Philippines. But on the brink of fame and fortune, there comes instead a knock on the door in the middle of the night: the flamboyant ex-Catholic is swept to America’s most notorious prison, administered a Qur’an and locked away indefinitely to discover his link to a terrorist plot.

Now, in his six-by-eight-foot cell, Boy prepares for the tribunal of his life with this intimate confession. From borrowed mattress to converted toothpick factory loft, from custom suit commissions to high-end retail, we are immersed in a wonderland of soirees, runways, and hipster romance in twenty-first-century Gotham.† Boy is equally at home (if sometimes comically misinformed) invoking Dostoevsky and Diane von Furstenberg, the Marcos tyranny and Marc Jacobs, the vicissitudes of memory and the indignity of the walking sandwich board. But behind the scrim of his wit and chutzpah is his present nightmare of detainment in the sun-baked place he calls No Man’s Land. The more Boy’s faith in American justice is usurped by the Kafkaesque demands of his interrogator, the more ardently he clings to the chimerical hope and humanity of his adoptive country.

Funny, wise and beguiling, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant gives us a tale so eerily evocative that it, and its hero, are poised to become an indelible part of the reader’s imagination and the literature of our strange times.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - johnluiz - LibraryThing

Alex Gilvarry has written an absolutely brilliant and entertaining novel. The premise is so outlandish – he combines a humorous satirical look at the fashion industry with eye-opening insights into ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - A_Reader_of_Fictions - LibraryThing

This is a bit out of my normal range of reading. This is not just because I have been reading so much YA literature, but also because I generally try to avoid anything political. However, when I got ... Read full review

Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
New York City 20022006
You Made Me
Apropos of No Mans Land
The Canadian
On Memory
Modus Operandi
The Two Suits
My Name Is Boy
The Enemy at Home
THE FALL OF BOY
News to Me
No Mans Land
Boyet R Hernandez Plaintiff
Camp Delta Blues
Apropos of the Fertilizer

My Life in Fashion
Love in a Time of War
Bronxville Revisited
Two Whole Minutes
Philip Tang 20
The Story of My Bathing Partner
The Overwhelming Event
War Crimes
On the Tarmac
Honor Bound
Afterword
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

A native of Staten Island, Alex Gilvarry has traveled extensively in the Philippines, where his family is from. He's the editor of the Web site Tottenville Review, he has been named a Norman Mailer Fellow, and his writing has appeared in The Paris Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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