The protagonist of this story is a homosexual, and his story is of a life in which homosexuality is a shaping force. Set in the American midwest of the 1950s, the book tells how the frustrated 15-year-old, whom the world would despise if it knew him, becomes the guardian of public morals.
An instant classic upon its original publication, A 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.
The nameless narrator in this deeply affecting work reminisces about growing up in the 1950s with emotionally aloof, divorced parents, an unrelenting sister, and the schoolmates who taunt him. He finds consolation in literature and his fantastic imagination. Eager to cultivate intimate, enduring friendships, he becomes aware of his yearning to be loved by men, and struggles with the guilt and shame of accepting who he is. Written with lyrical delicacy and extraordinary power, A Boy's Own Story is a triumph.
From the Inside Flap
"With A Boy's Own Story American literature is larger by one classic novel." -- The Washington Post Book World
"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
"Edmund White has crossed J. D. Salinger with Oscar Wilde to create an extraordinary novel." -- The New York Times Book Review
From the Back Cover