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Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano…
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Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (Writing in Latinidad)

by Rigoberto Gonzalez

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Beautiful and often heartbreaking memoir about González's experiences growing up gay in a family of migrant workers. I liked the structure of the memoir, which is framed by a bus trip González takes with his father to visit family in Michoacán. At that point in his life, he's a college student, twenty years old and full of resentment against his father for abandoning him after his mother's death. The memoir allows that resentment to speak for itself, but also subtly calls for sympathy and compassion for the narrator's father. This is both a great portrait of migrant worker life and an affecting memoir of life as a closeted gay teenager. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0299219003, Hardcover)

Heartbreaking, poetic, and intensely personal, Butterfly Boy is a unique coming out and coming-of-age story of a first-generation Chicano who trades one life for another, only to discover that history and memory are not exchangeable or forgettable. 

Growing up among poor migrant Mexican farmworkers, Rigoberto González also faces the pressure of coming-of-age as a gay man in a culture that prizes machismo. Losing his mother when he is twelve, González must then confront his father’s abandonment and an abiding sense of cultural estrangement, both from his adopted home in the United States and from a Mexican birthright. His only sense of connection gets forged in a violent relationship with an older man. By finding his calling as a writer, and by revisiting the relationship with his father during a trip to Mexico, González finally claims his identity at the intersection of race, class, and sexuality. The result is a leap of faith that every reader who ever felt like an outsider will immediately recognize.

 

2007 Finalist, Randy Shilts Awards for Gay Nonfiction, Publishing Triangle
 
Winner, American Book Awards, Before Columbus Foundation

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Heartbreaking, poetic, and intensely personal, this is a unique coming-out and coming-of-age story of a first-generation Chicano who trades one life for another, only to discover that history and memory are not exchangeable or forgettable. Growing up among poor migrant Mexican farmworkers, Gonzalez also faces the pressure of coming-of-age as a gay man in a culture that prizes machismo. Losing his mother when he is twelve, Gonzalez must then confront his father's abandonment and an abiding sense of cultural estrangement. His only sense of connection gets forged in a violent relationship with an older man. By finding his calling as a writer, and by revisiting the relationship with his father during a trip to Mexico, Gonzalez finally claims his identity at the intersection of race, class, and sexuality. The result is a leap of faith that every reader who ever felt like an outsider will immediately recognize.--From publisher description.… (more)

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