The University of Wisconsin Press

Literature / Gay Studies


Boyer Rickel

Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies

A virtuoso memoir

"Like Bernard Cooper's Truth Serum and Donald Windham's Emblems of Conduct, Boyer Rickel's Taboo  is a memoir that is poetic and almost fragmentary. His prose is delicate and sensuous. We watch him grow up through the episodes, and watch as his growing self-knowledge augments sense and memory. A beautiful book."—Brian Bouldrey, editor of Best American Gay Fiction and book editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Even if I hadn't known that Boyer Rickel is a poet, I might easily have surmised it, not only because of the direct, graceful, beautiful, and deeply felt writing in his memoir Taboo , but because of the book's uncommon structure, which eschews Proustian completeness and aims instead for a more scattershot effect. In this age of revenge-seeking, neurotic, self-aggrandizing memoirs, I don't know of anything quite like this sane and lovely book. I recommend it highly."—Felice Picano, author of Like People in History

An impressionistic memoir offers images of a life in progress, including scenes from Boyer Rickel's rural Tempe, Arizona, childhood in the 1950s; his relationship with a physically shrinking father; his eccentric teenage friendships; his growing awareness of his sexuality among young, Hispanic gays; and a trip through Italy with his lover. A personal book, but also wholly universal, Taboo investigates the way one breaks through taboos and becomes a self-realized adult.

Boyer Rickel is the author of a collection of poetry, arreboles, and his work has appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Iowa Review, Sonora Review, and many other magazines. He is assistant director of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

April 1999
136 pp.   6 x 9
Book icon
Cloth $14.95 t
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout

Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated April 24, 2012

© 2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System