BN.com Gift Guide

Chulito: A Novel

( 15 )

Overview

"A tremendous debut...full of heart and courage and a ferocious honesty."-Junot Diaz, author of The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan's piers, Chulito is a coming-of-age, coming out love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop-loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters who populate his block. Chulito, which means "cutie," is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up--the owner of the local ...

See more details below
Paperback
$14.27
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $7.43   
  • New (6) from $13.66   
  • Used (2) from $7.43   
Sending request ...

Overview

"A tremendous debut...full of heart and courage and a ferocious honesty."-Junot Diaz, author of The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the queer youth culture of Manhattan's piers, Chulito is a coming-of-age, coming out love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop-loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters who populate his block. Chulito, which means "cutie," is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up--the owner of the local bodega, the Lees from the Chinese restaurant, his buddies from the corner, and all of his neighbors and friends, including Carlos, who was Chulito's best friend until they hit puberty and people started calling Carlos a pato...a faggot.

Culito rejects Carlos, buries his feelings for him, and becomes best friends with Kamikaze, a local drug dealer. When Carlos comes home from his first year away from college and they share a secret kiss, Chulito's worlds collide as his ideas of being a young man, being macho, and being in love are challenged. Vivid, sexy, funny, heartbreaking, and fearless, this knock out novel is destined to become a gay classic.
Praise
"Hilarious, unique, heartfelt and sharp. A wonderful read."-Sandra Cisneros, author of the acclaimed The House on Mango Street and Caramelo

"Chulito introduces a fresh, engaging, and stirring voice. Rice-Gonzalez's memorable characters live on the page with a force and verve and vulnerability that touches our heart. This is a beautiful debut."-Jaime Manrique, author of Latin Moon in Manhattan and Eminent Maricones

About the Author
Charles Rice-González, born in Puerto Rico and reared in the Bronx, is a writer, long-time community and LGBT activist and Executive Director of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. He received a B.A. in Communications from Adelphi University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College.

Rice-Gonzalez attended the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Lambda Literary Foundation Writers' Conference in 2008 and Sandra Cisnero's Macondo Writers' Conference in 2009. He has worked with writers David Leavitt, Sarah Schulman, Rebecca Brown, Percival Everett, Helena Maria Viramontes, Elana Dykewomon and Stacey D'Erasmo.

Rice-Gonzalez is a public relations and marketing specialist in the area if Latino arts and culture. He worked for nearly twenty years in the publicity and public relations field at Universal Pictures in New York, for Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and Repertorio Español - Spanish Theatre Repertory before forming Rice-González Public Relations in 1997. He has worked with every major Latino theater company in New York and was the Latino Marketing specialist with the Broadway production of Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics. He lives in the Bronx, NY.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A tremendous debut...full of heart and courage and a ferocious honesty."--Junot Diaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“Hilarious, unique, heartfelt and sharp. A wonderful read.”-Sandra Cisneros, author of the acclaimed The House on Mango Street and Caramelo

“Chulito introduces a fresh, engaging, and stirring voice. Rice-Gonzalez’s memorable characters live on the page with a force and verve and vulnerability that touches our heart. This is a beautiful debut.”-Jaime Manrique, author of Latin Moon in Manhattan and Eminent Maricones.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936833030
  • Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books
  • Publication date: 12/13/2011
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 361,267
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Charles Rice-González, born in Puerto Rico and reared in the Bronx, is a writer, long-time community and LGBT activist and Executive Director of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. He received a B.A. in Communications from Adelphi University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College.

Rice-Gonzalez attended the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the Lambda Literary Foundation Writers’ Conference in 2008 and Sandra Cisnero’s Macondo Writers’ Conference in 2009. He has worked with writers David Leavitt, Sarah Schulman, Rebecca Brown, Percival Everett, Helena Maria Viramontes, Elana Dykewomon and Stacey D’Erasmo. He was awarded a residency at the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in Woodstock, NY in 2005 and at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in 2011.
Charles received an Audre Lorde scholarship in 2007 from the ZAMI Foundation and a P.R.I.D.E. (Puerto Rican Initiative to Develop Empowerment) Award in 1997.

Rice-Gonzalez has written several plays including What Carlos Feels (1990), Pink Jesus (1997), and Los Nutcrackers: A Christmas Carajo (produced each year at BAAD! since 2004) and I Just Love Andy Gibb which won Pregones Theater’s 2005 ASUNCION Play Reading Series and received a workshop production in May 2007.

He has read excerpts of his book at the Bowery Poetry Club, The Living Room, the PANIC series at Nowhere Bar, the Gerber/Hart Library in Chicago, and several venues in the burgeoning South Bronx arts scene including Bruckner Bar and Grill, and was a featured writer at the Downtown Bronx Café.

Rice-Gonzalez is a public relations and marketing specialist in the area if Latino arts and culture. He worked for nearly 20 years in the publicity and public relations field at Universal Pictures in New York, for Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and Repertorio Español – Spanish Theatre Repertory before forming Rice-González Public Relations in 1997. He has worked with every major Latino theater company in New York and was the Latino Marketing specialist with the Broadway production of Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize winning ANNA IN THE TROPICS. He lives in the Bronx, NY.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

Chulito awoke with a hard-on as usual. He looked down his smooth, brown chest past the black strands sprouting around his navel to see the head of his dick poking up at him through his bed sheet. He greeted it with a firm gentle squeeze. "Hola, papito."

The old window shade in his tiny room cast a Creamsicle glow from the sun rays that shot off a big metallic sign from one of the many Auto Glass shops that lined the street across from his building.

The sounds of trucks revving and barreling along Garrison Avenue mixed with the cries of “auto glass! auto glass! auto glass!” from the guys who competed with each other to lure cars with broken windshields, cracked mirrors or busted headlights into their respective shops.

Chulito stood naked in front of the full length mirror on the back of his door. That spring, with just some push-ups and sit-ups, smooth hard muscles came out of nowhere and he looked like a Latino, hip hop version of Michaelangelo’s David. He crossed his arms over his chest, fingers underneath each armpit and thumbs pointing up to the ceiling. He shifted his weight onto his right hip, tilted his head, tucked his chin into his neck, and contorted his pretty boy face into a mean gangsta snarl.

He then popped a CD into his system and mouthed out the words along with Big Pun. When the percussion popped into the song, he bopped his head and challenged his own image in the mirror.

As Chulito slipped into the bathroom across the hall from his room, his nostrils filled with the comforting smell of freshly brewed café Bustelo. He heard his mother, Carmen, talking in the kitchen with Maria from upstairs about her son Carlos who was coming home from his first year at college. All week he’d heard Maria’s slippers make sounds like sandpaper scratching on the bare wood floor as she prepared Carlos’s room, which was right above his.

Chulito was excited too. Carlos used to be his boy. They were real tight from the day Carlos and Maria moved into the building. Carlos was five, almost a year older than Chulito, and would come home from kindergarten and teach Chulito the songs he’d learned. Growing up, they played together all the time – snowball fights, trick or treating on Halloween, going to Joe’s for ices, or sneaking into El Coche Strip Club and laughing real hard when they got chased out by the old Irish owner.

But that was before all the shit came down.

It started when they went to different schools. Chulito went to Stevenson High School, the local school that everyone in Hunts Point attended, but Carlos got accepted into the Bronx High School of Science in the North Bronx, a school for the gifted and intelligent. Maria threw him a party when he got accepted and took a second job to buy him a new laptop. Then Carlos started dressing differently, like one of those white boys in the J. Crew catalogs. Chulito didn’t care, at first; he thought Carlos looked cool and sophisticated. They still spent time together. Carlos helped him with homework and they rode the #6 train to Parkchester to see movies on the weekends. They were always together. Then, people in the neighborhood started calling Carlos a pato.

“We should kick his faggot ass to show him a lesson,” said Looney Tunes, one of the fellas who hung out on the corner and lived in Chulito’s building. Looney Tunes earned his name because as a kid he ran home from school to watch cartoons. He even watched them on videotape, sang the songs and imitated the noises and sound effects. He grew out of it, but the name stuck.

Chulito stared Looney Tunes down. “Yo, Carlos is my boy and he from the ‘hood, so cut that shit.”
“Protecting your boyfriend?” Looney Tunes teased. Chulito responded with a punch that knocked Looney Tunes on his ass and required three stitches on the inside of his mouth. So, everybody left Carlos alone – including Chulito. It was just what he had to do to be correct with the fellas. Carlos tried to stay connected, but he was placed in pato exile – no one looked at him or talked to him.

Chulito hated treating Carlos as if he were invisible whenever he ran into him in the Bella Vista pizza shop or saw him walking up the block. Chulito got heated when the fellas made “faggot this” and “faggot that” comments when Carlos passed the corner, but he kept it in check. He’s successfully avoided Carlos until one day, while coming out of the bodega, he collided with him. The fellas were on the corner right outside the door watching. Carlos looked surprised at first then the corners of his mouth curled into a smile. Chulito wanted to say sorry or excuse me but instead said, “Watch where you’re fucking walking.” The fellas laughed. The hurt in Carlos’ eyes haunted him for the next week.
He finally went to meet Carlos at his school, which was safely a world away from Hunts Point. He was worried that things with the fellas could get out of hand. He wanted to protect Carlos so he told him to get correct and stop fagging out.

Carlos looked down at his fitted yellow Polo shirt, straight-legged jeans and red Adidas sneakers with the white stripes and held out his slim arms. “There’s nothing wrong with me, Chulito. There’s nothing wrong with not wearing baggy, drooping pants and Timberlands all the time. Look around, people dress all different kinds of ways. And I’m still the same Carlos. It’s the neighborhood’s that’s fucked up.”

Chulito checked out Carlos’ friends who were waiting nearby. Two of the young women wore bright sundresses and sandals and one had dark make-up and the other looked scrubbed clean; a young black kid had tight braids streaming down his head and wore a vest with no shirt and loose sweat pants and white sneakers; a tall guy had long blond dreads, a tight dark green tank top, snug dusty black jeans and black combat boots; and an Asian guy had the loose baggy hip hop gear he was used to seeing and his head was shave into a Mohawk.

Chulito looked back at Carlos. He wanted to confess that he missed him, he missed the movies and the walks near the empty industrial streets of the Hunts Point Food Market, the laughs, and the long telephone conversations where Carlos told him the storylines of the books he was reading, but instead said, “I’m just trying to look out for you, ‘cause the fellas be getting worked up about you.” Chulito’s hands were deep in his pockets and he looked at the ground.

“Thanks for looking out for me, Chulito. I know you’re not like the rest of those assholes.” Carlos touched his shoulder. Chulito’s heart quickened.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Amazing

    I could feel their emotions

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    A Literary Masterpiece and I don't feel I'm being overly kind. C

    A Literary Masterpiece and I don't feel I'm being overly kind. Congratulations to Charles for delivering a powerful  work-- a must read for Urban youth who need to know their story is real.... That they are not alone in a quest for identity. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    I read Chulito last year. I loved this book then and until now,

    I read Chulito last year. I loved this book then and until now, it still affects me in so many ways. It's simple but very real. It reminds me that how I grew up being a confused kid about my orientation. Teenagers should read it to find their own selves... Parents should read it to understand more about their children. Great work!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2012

    I have finished reading this AMAZING book which took place in Hu

    I have finished reading this AMAZING book which took place in Hunts
    Point, The Bronx in 2005 and OMG Its ending was so perfect and well
    written and I have reread the ending twice. I needed to add … it was a
    very good read as it tells the story of how some people interact with
    gays in a ghetto setting with people of different backgrounds and
    history with real positive and negative feelings. I recommend this book
    especially because the main characters are todays inner-city youth 16
    (Chulito, the thug) and 17 (Carlos, the college student) and some young
    people out there could relate to their story … please read it, I think
    you will agree that is was a very good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2012

    Really enjoyed this read. The writer definitely has a beautiful

    Really enjoyed this read. The writer definitely has a beautiful style. Highly recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Great Read!

    One of the best NYC gay love stories ever written!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)