available in French
available in German
A Boy's Own Story (1982)
An instant classic upon its original
Boy's Own Story is the first of Edmund White's highly
acclaimed trilogy of autobiographical novels that brilliantly
evoke a young man's coming of age and document American
gay life through the last forty years.
This deeply affecting work introduces
the nameless narrator as he reflects on his difficult childhood
during the 1950s with a mixture of tenderness and anguish.
Growing up with emotionally aloof, divorced parents, and
forced to endure ridicule from his unrelenting sister and
schoolmates, he tries to escape his feeling of self-consciousness
and alienation by immersing himself in literature, art,
and his fantastic imagination. As he strives to cultivate
enduring friendships with both peers and mentors, he becomes
aware of his yearning to be loved by the men in his life,
and struggles with the guilt and shame of accepting who
he is. Written with lyrical delicacy and extraordinary powers,
Boy's Own Story is a triumph.