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About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir

John Rechy

49 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0802144047 / ISBN 13: 9780802144041
Published by Grove Press, 2009
Used Condition: Good
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Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP90083970

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Bibliographic Details

Title: About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir

Publisher: Grove Press

Publication Date: 2009

Book Condition:Good

Edition: Reprint.

About this title


Gore Vidal has hailed John Rechy as one of the few original American writers of the last century,” and Michael Cunningham has called him an author whose life is almost as interesting, and meaningful, as his work.” Rechy’s long-awaited memoir,About My Life and the Kept Woman, is the author’s first open treatment of his life and a testament to the power of pride and self-acceptance. Raised Mexican-American in El Paso, Texas, at a time when Latino children were routinely segregated, Rechy was often assumed to be Anglo because of his light skin, and had his name changed” for him by a teacher, from Juan to John. As he grew older and as his fascination with the memory of a notorious kept woman in his childhood deepened Rechy became aware that his differences lay not just in his heritage, but in his sexuality. A moving, powerful story of a life that bears witness to some of the most riotous changes of the past century,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.

From Publishers Weekly:

Reflecting on his long life with a calm, clear eye, novelist Rechy (The Life and Adventures of Lyle Clemens) probes his nascent self-identity as a Mexican-American and a homosexual. Growing up during the Depression in El Paso, Tex., the youngest son of a Mexican woman who spoke no English and a Scottish musician father, Rechy recalls his early fascination with beauty, especially in his older adored sister, Olga, who married early, and in the cool, glamorous regard of the notorious kept woman of Mexican politician Augusto de Leon, Marisa Guzman, whom the young narrator glimpsed briefly and memorably at his sister's wedding. Moreover, amid a society that excoriated Mexicans, young Rechy grew into a beautiful, fair-skinned young man torn between feeling proud of his Mexican roots and shame because of them. Fleeing the restricted prospects of El Paso and the depressive rages of his father, Rechy, a budding writer, attended college, then joined the army during the Korean War and began traveling, to Paris, New York City and Los Angeles, where he found hustling for sex from anonymous men suited him. The memoir meanders through years of drifting among jobs and numerous sexual encounters, which became the fodder for his acclaimed City of Night (1963) and other works. Self-adulation aside, Rechy's memoir possesses many fine stylistic vignettes.
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