Keith Fleming had been a pretty ordinary Midwestern kid - Little League, Boy Scouts - but the year he turns twelve, his family is torn apart by divorce when he learns that his mother and his Uncle Ed are both gay. By the time Keith is fifteen, he has become disfigured by severe acne and is so wild that his father and stepmother place him in a draconian adolescent mental institution. Here he meets Laura, a pretty Mexican girl with whom he begins a passionate love affair.
Keith's mother finally demands his release after a series of hospitalisations and sends him off to live with his uncle, Edmund White, in New York. Keith is soon transformed by his young uncle: he is sent to a dermatologist, to Barney's "Boys' Town" for new clothes, and to prep school. He receives a broad cultural education from Uncle Ed at home - all this despite Ed's being poor as well as completely caught up in the beehive of social and sexual activity of 1970s gay Manhattan.
This is a beautifully rendered saga of a deeply sensitive and alienated teen struggling to find his place in the world - and at the same time a very modern tale of teenage love and a young person's touching and complicated bond with an unlikely hero.
- Publication Date:
- 05 / 07 / 2000
- 156 x 235mm