A Boy's Own Story

A Boy’s Own Story

A Novel

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143114840
  • 208 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White’s trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy’s Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. The book’s unnamed narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him to seek out works of art and literature as solace-and to uncover new relationships in the struggle to embrace his own sexuality. Lyrical and poignant, with powerful evocations of shame and yearning, this is an American literary treasure.


“With A Boy’s Own Story American literature is larger by one classic novel.”
-The Washington Post Book World

“Edmund White has crossed J. D. Salinger with Oscar Wilde to create an extraordinary novel.”
-The New York Times Book Review

“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
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