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 older—and as his fascination with a notorious kept woman from his childhood deepened—Rechy 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 him—whether 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.
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