The University of Wisconsin Press


Memoir / Latino Interest / Gay Interest

 

Butterfly Boy
Memories of a Chicano Mariposa
Rigoberto González

Writing in Latinidad: Autobiographical Voices of U.S. Latinos/as
Susana Chávez-Silverman, Paul Allatson, Silvia D. Spitta, Rafael Campo, Series Editors


Winner of the American Book Award
Writers for Writers Award, Poets & Writers magazine


Heartbreaking, poetic, and intensely personal, Butterfly Boy is a unique coming out and coming-of-age story of a first-generation Chicano who trades one life for another, only to discover that history and memory are not exchangeable or forgettable.

Growing up among poor migrant Mexican farmworkers, Rigoberto González also faces the pressure of coming-of-age as a gay man in a culture that prizes machismo. Losing his mother when he is twelve, González must then confront his father's abandonment and an abiding sense of cultural estrangement, both from his adopted home in the United States and from a Mexican birthright. His only sense of connection gets forged in a violent relationship with an older man. By finding his calling as a writer, and by revisiting the relationship with his father during a trip to Mexico, González finally claims his identity at the intersection of race, class, and sexuality. The result is a leap of faith that every reader who ever felt like an outsider will immediately recognize.

"A deeply felt work that belongs in the company of classic American memoirs such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, When I Was Puerto Rican, and Hunger of Memory. . . . Engrossing, supremely enjoyable, and beautifully written."
–Jaime Manrique, author of Eminent Maricones

Rigoberto González is the author of So Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks, a selection of the National Poetry Series, and of Other Fugitives and Other Strangers. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships and of several international artist residencies, he has also written two children's picture books, a literary biography, and an award-winning novel, Crossing Vines. He is on the Advisory Circle of Con Tinta–a coalition of Chicano/Latino activist writers. He works and lives in New York City.

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FIRST PAPERBACK EDITION
September 2006

LC: 2006006990 PS
224 pp
.   6 x 9

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ISBN 978-0-299-21900-0
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ISBN 978-0-299-21904-8
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"In the tradition of Richard Rodriguez, this stirring memoir of a first-generation Mexican American's coming-of-age and coming out is wrenching, angry, passionate, ironic, and always eloquent about conflicts of family, class and sexuality. . . . An unforgettable story of leaving home today."
–Hazel Rochman, Booklist


www.rigobertogonzalez.com

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