A Boy's Own Story: A Novel, Book 1

Open Road Media
4
Free sample

“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.
 
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About the author

Edmund White is one of America’s preeminent twentieth-century writers. His fiction, essays, biography, and journalism explore the gay experience in the United States, from the closeted 1950s to the AIDS crisis. His autobiographical novel, A Boy’s Own Story (1982), is a classic coming-of-age tale that cemented his place as a fiction author. White’s works have earned and been shortlisted for numerous honors, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, which he received for the biography Genet in 1993. White has also received the PEN/Saul Bellow and Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Awards for Lifetime Achievement and is the namesake of the organization’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. He is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Dec 23, 2014
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781497685918
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / LGBT / Gay
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Following A Boy's Own Story (now a classic of American fiction) and his richly acclaimed The Beautiful Room Is Empty, here is the eagerly awaited final volume of Edmund White's groundbreaking autobiographical trilogy.

Named for the work by Haydn in which the instrumentalists leave the stage one after another until only a single violin remains playing, this is the story of a man who has outlived most of his friends. Having reached the six-month anniversary of his lover's death, he embarks on a journey of remembrance that will recount his struggle to become a writer and his discovery of what it means to be a gay man. His witty, conversational narrative transports us from the 1960s to the near present, from starkly erotic scenes in the back rooms of New York clubs to episodes of rarefied hilarity in the salons of Paris to moments of family truth in the American Midwest. Along the way, a breathtaking variety of personal connections--and near misses--slowly builds an awareness of the transformative power of genuine friendship, of love and loss, culminating in an indelible experience with a dying man. And as the flow of memory carries us across time, space and society, one man's magnificently realized story grows to encompass an entire generation.

Sublimely funny yet elegiac, full of unsparingly trenchant social observation yet infused with wisdom and a deeply felt compassion, The Farewell Symphony is a triumph of reflection and expressive elegance. It is also a stunning and wholly original panorama of gay life over the past thirty years--the crowning achievement of one of our finest writers.
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