A Boy's Own Storyby Edmund White
For more than two decades, Edmund White has been widely recognized as America’s preeminent gay writer. “He has a novelist’s eye for the telling detail or the remarkable phrase and, like Proust himself, concentrates upon the minutiae of the past so that it might live again,” wrote The New York Times Book Review. “White possesses the rare combination of a po-etic sense of language and an ironic sense of humor,” declared Newsweek. “[He] is unquestionably the foremost American gay novelist.” Commemorating the twentieth anni-versary of A Boy’s Own Story, this Modern Library edition presents White’s autobiographical novel together with an Introduction by prizewinning novelist Allan Gurganus and a new Afterword by the author himself.
A Boy’s Own Story, with equal parts stunning lyricism and unabashed humor, traces a nameless narrator’s coming-of-age in the 1950s. Struggling with his homosexuality, the narrator seeks the consolations of a fantastic imagination and fills his head with romantic expectations (“I believed without a doubt in a better world, which was adulthood or New York or Paris or love.”) His distant, divorced parents exacerbate his hunger for emotional connection, and he endures the unhelpful attentions of a priest and a psychoanalyst. In time, he recognizes the need to be loved by the men in his life and, in the surprising conclusion, escapes his childhood forever with one unforgettable act.
“With A Boy’s Own Story, American literature is larger by one classic novel,” wrote The Washington Post Book World. “Noreader, straight or gay . . . can fail to experience shock after shock of recognition in these pages, and few, I would bet, will be able to withhold a one-to-one sympathy from the unnamed narrator, even when he is being, by the standards of only yesterday, ‘shocking.’”
The New York Times
- Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
- Product dimensions:
- 20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)
Meet the Author
Edmund White, author of thirteen books, is a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Award for Literature from the National Academy of Arts and Letters. His Genet: A Biography won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award. He lives in Paris, France.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I was almost turned off at first because this book's plot had a sort of loose chronological construction, but do not let that dissuade you! Each scene in this boy's life will start something inside you and will make you think in ways you never have. This was certainly one of the most moving and satisfying endings to a book I have ever read.
A gay coming of age story set in the 50. The author did a great job!
As a teenage female, I read this book. It evokes memories, and emotions no matter what your sexual orientation. Also, being a student at the high school that the author graduated from, I feel a certain attachment to the plot, and feelings. Anyone, who wishes to enrich their life, and worldly wisdom, should read this book, and change themselves for the better.
This was one of the most poignant and inticing novels I have read in a long time. The imagery that Mr. White uses is just gorgeous!! I had to read the book twice in one sitting just because I loved it so much!!