A Boy's Own Story

3.43
Originally published in 1982 as the fourth of Edmund White 's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A oy 's Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. The essa 's unnamed narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel ister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him to seek out works of art and literature as solace-and to uncover new relationships in the struggle to embrace his own sexuality. Lyrical and evocative, with powerful evocations of shame and sorrow, this is an American literary treasure.
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Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published May 30th 2000 by Vintage Books USA (first published 1982
Original Title of the Book
A Boy's Own Story
Number of Pages
218

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gave it

the rotagonist 's travails are emotionally affecting yet he remains creepily distanced from the events and person in his own life- in particular from his equally creepy, distant, self-absorbed father.

the episodic nature of the autobiograph- in some ways disguised by the circular narrative- is rich with at times dreamy, other times cruelly crystal clear recountings of key moments in this gir 's life.

the hole thing flows together in a way that is impressively cohesive and memorable.

gave it

spinof of six short character studies, A oy ’ s Own Story charts the emotional and aesthetic development of a sensitive young gay artist.

gave it

But unlike the Italian backdrop of that book, the arrator in A oy 's Own Story is a wealthy WASPish fellow with a stern Republican father, a flighty mother, and the setting is the 1950s Midwest.

He 's a poor little rich boy ( who can get away with minor transgressions and risky behavior because he knows in the nd he will be all right), but his internalized self-hate and homophobia is so intense that I could still feel sympathy.Despite the negatives, there were still some things I could relate to.

But unlike me, there was still an internalized sense of alien wrongness.Apparently this is the third part in a rilogy, and I will be reading the others.Quotes that I connected with: On escape: " This house where I 'd never felt I belonged no longer belonged to me, and the future so clearly charted for me -- college, career, wife, and white house wavering behind green trees -- was being exchanged. " On unwanted children: " My mothe had not wanted my father, as she told him, she 'd pummeled her stomach with her fists every day while she was bearing him.

If she began by admitting defeat, then omething was possible: sincerity, perhaps, or at least the avoidance of appearing ludicrous. " On ingrained homophobia: " I wanted to overcome this thing I was becoming and was in danger soon of being, the homosexuals, as though that designation were the mold in which the water was freezing, the first crystals already forming a fragile membrane. " On being an alien: " Nothing I did or said among the other boys came to me naturally.

gave it

( The paramount reason I adore fiction!) In this, the truth of the subjec.

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I picked " A oy 's Own Story " because it 's also on the " 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die " list.

It is not a ong ook, but it felt ong and was a chore to get through it.The book is the book of a boy coming to terms ( or not) with being gay.

" A Gir 's Own Story " is very over-written with elaborate prose and dense metaphors all the time.

But it was part of the gir 's self-hatred for being gay.

( hide spoiler) ] I understand how this act was thematically about self-loathing and not being willin to accept his homosexuality, but it nevertheless made me dislike him intensely.

gave it

Judging by this nove, the average young boy can, before the age of 15, look forward to being approached for sex by: *A 12-year-old " straight " baby jock who 's really into anal*Not one, but two separate camp counselors*A " special " student who wanders around with a constant erection, which everyone just accepts, like, " Oh ey, it 's whatshisname with his perma-boner " *A teacher and his wife looking for a three-way*A totally different teacher*A female black prostitute*A guy in a park who 's actually just trying to con you out of$ 200I think I 'm forgetting someone, but crazy, you can always fill your downtime with sexual fantasies about your own ather! Look, I get that my experience does not in any way equal the universal experience, least of all that of a young gay man from half a century ago.

I will definitely be seeking out more of White 's nonfiction work.But I eyerolled throughout all of this trilog 's sexual shenanigans.

gave it

I thought I was an Edmund White fan but it turned out I just like the funny Edmund ( The Beautiful Room is Empty, My Lives).

Maybe I ’ m turning into a conservative, I don ’ t know.

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