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A Boy's Own Story

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Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy's Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. The book's unnamed narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, 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 poignant, with powerful evocations of shame and yearning, this is an American literary treasure.

About the Author

Edmund White is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the novels Fanny: A Fiction, The Farewell Symphony, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Married Man, and the memoirs Inside a Pearl and The Unpunished Vice. He has received many awards and fellowships, including the National Book Foundation's 2019 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; a Guggenheim Fellowship; the France-Ameriques Award; the PEN/Saul Bellow Award; the Mondello Prize; and the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Genet: A Biography. A former official author for the state of New York, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and an officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters, he lives in New York City.

By the Winner of the National Book Foundation's 2019 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters

"Every so often a novel comes along that is so ambitious in its intention and so confident of its voice that it reminds us what a singular and potent thing a novel can be. One of these is A Boy's Own Story."--San Francisco Chronicle

"With A Boy's Own Story, American literature is larger by one classic novel."--The Washington Post

"The story Edmund White tells is spellbinding--by turns incisively satiric, goldenly nostalgic, calmly voluptuous, and throbbing. . . . No reader, straight or gay . . can fail to experience shock after shock of recognition in these pages."--The Washington Post Book World

"It is any boy's story. . . . For all I know, it may be any girl's story as well. . . . It is one of the two or three best novels I've read this season."--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"Enchanted, dreamy, elegant and exotic . . . The book touches universal bases with smashing success."--Publishers Weekly

"White writes with shimmering sensuousness. . . . Balancing the banal and the savage, the funny and the lovely, he achieves a wonderfully poised fiction."--The New York Times Book Review

"The best American narrative of sexual awakening since Catcher in the Rye." --Chicago Sun-Times

Publisher: Penguin Books
Pub date: feb 24, 2009
208 pages
Format: Paperback