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About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir (original 2008; edition 2008)
by John Rechy
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802118615, Hardcover)
The untold personal life story of the novelist whom Gore Vidal has hailed as one of the few original American writers of the last century.” John Rechy’s first novel, City of Night, is a modern classic and his subsequent body of work has kept him among America’s most important writers. Now, for the first time, he writes about his life, in a volume that is a testament to the power of pride and self-acceptance. Rechy was raised Mexican-American in Texas, at a time when Latino children were routinely discriminated against. As he grew olderand as his fascination with a notorious kept woman from his childhood deepenedRechy became aware that his differences lay not just in his heritage but in his sexuality. While he performed the roles others wanted for him, he never allowed them to define himwhether it was the authoritarians in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, the bigoted relatives of his Anglo college classmates, or the men and women who wanted him to be something he was not. About My Life and the Kept Woman is as much a portrait of intolerance as of an individual who defied it to forge his own path.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:31 -0400)
"Rechy was raised Mexican American in El Paso, Texas, at a time when Latino children were routinely separated from their Anglo classmates for daily lice checks and English pronunciation lessons, and being proud of who you were was unheard of. Because of his light skin, he was often assumed to be Anglo, and his name was "changed" by a teacher, from Juan to John. As he grew older - and as his fascination deepened with the memory of a notorious kept woman in his childhood - Rechy became "a ghost boy" who preferred to be alone, feeling different in his heritage and, eventually, in his sexuality. While he performed the roles others wanted for him, he never allowed anyone to define him - whether the authoritarians in the U.S. Army, the bigoted relatives of his Anglo college classmates, or the men and women who wanted him to be something he was not." "In these pages, Rechy opens up about the reality behind the events in his famous autobiographical novel, City of Night, and introduces a new vibrant cast of characters: his loving Mexican mother and violent Scottish father; Alicia, an enigmatic young woman whose life intertwines with his from El Paso to San Francisco; and a roster of such luminaries as Allen Ginsberg and Christopher Isherwood." "Navigating the Depression, the Second World War, the Watts Riots, and the Vietnam War protests, About My Life and the Kept Woman is a story of a life that bears witness to some of the most turbulent changes of the past century. It is an indictment of intolerance and a portrait of an individual who defied it to forge his own path."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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