A Boy's Own Story
|September 28, 1982|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3573.H463 B6 1982|
A Boy’s Own Story is a 1982 semi-autobiographical novel by Edmund White.
A Boy’s Own Story is the first of a trilogy of novels, describing a boy’s coming of age and documenting a young man’s experience of homosexuality in the 1950s in Cincinnati, Chicago and Michigan. The trilogy continued with The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988) and The Farewell Symphony (1997), which brought the setting up to the 1990s. Although all three share a number of themes and are frequently considered at least partly autobiographical, they do not tell a linear story in the manner of some trilogies, and can be read independently of one another.
This section is missing information about most of what happens in the plot.April 2018)(
The story starts when the narrator, aged 15, experiences the physical side of young love with his twelve-year-old friend Kevin O'Brien. Although he is the younger boy, Kevin takes the lead in the sexual activity. Kevin's remoteness keeps the relationship one-sided; he forgets all about it once each session is over, whereas the narrator gets more and more worried about his deep feelings. As the book progresses, he starts to have cravings for anal penetration. The encounters between the two adolescents become infrequent and are pushed to the background as the narrator's soul-searching about his homosexuality continues.
Literary significance and criticism
- Catherine Stimpson, 'The Bodies and Souls of American Men', The New York Times, October 10, 1982 
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