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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.

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