“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.