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About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  45 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
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 se ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Grove Press (first published May 1st 2007)
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Jan 27, 2015 Rj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This week I picked up John Rechy's new memoir About My Life and the Kept Woman (New York: Grove Press, 2008). The book written in his usual peculiar but engaging style details his early life in El Paso, Texas and his fascination with a woman who was a kept woman for a leading Mexican politician. The image of this woman stayed with him for the rest of his life and became a symbol of style, decorum, class and invulnerabilty. An image Rechy used to formulate the persona he developed as a hustler in ...more
Adam Dunn
May 15, 2015 Adam Dunn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
Interesting reading the reviews here some say they wanted more of Hustler Rechy and some say they wanted more of Childhood Rechy. I think it can be agreed though that this book leaves you wanting more.
Rechy invented the prose he uses in his other books, the sexmoney and the frantic style of the chase, and he leaves much of that behind here. There seems to always be the line with Rechy of what you tell and what you don't, of how much you hide behind the posture to please the client, in this case
Ellen Young
Apr 26, 2009 Ellen Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Rechy's novel, City of Night, which told the story of his hustling in big cities. City of Night was a scandalous best-seller in 1963 (I can imagine!).

This book covers some of the same territory is more personal and starts with his childhood as a light-skinned boy of Mexican/Scottish descent living in poverty in El Paso. At first, I found this memoir interesting but slow; a long section describing his high school relationship with a girl goes on too long. But the more I read, the more me
I read John Rechy's first book, City of Night when it was first published in 1963. I was about 23 and too naive to appreciate what a good writer he is. I am tempted to reread City of Night, but it seems to be almost 800 pages. This is a beautifully written book and a compelling story.
Apr 23, 2014 Randy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad I stuck with it. Once the author gets himself to Los Angeles the story becomes more complex. The first third of the novel confused me as if the author himself was confused about the meaning of his childhood. I don 't think this story is about a gay man. I think this is a story about a Hispanic American man who became a hustler and discovered his ability to write.
This took me two months to get through, though that's probably my fault and not John Rechy's.

Do you ever read something that's pretty good, and maybe it's actually interesting more than it is technically good, but somehow it's completely inspiring anyway and makes you want to just write and write and write? Well, for me this is that book. I want to write now.

Wendy Bird
Mar 26, 2015 Wendy Bird rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rechy tells a little bit more about himself and his personal story with each coming book. He's a fascinating man and the revelation about the kept woman is well worth waiting for. He has come full circle. Love him and his work.
Feb 01, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the very amazing "City of Night", I was very tempted to read Rechy's other offerings.
I just got a massive parcel from Amazon, and this was one of them. I've just started reading it, and it's about growing up as a half Latino, half Irish boy in El Paso. Will see how it goes, but I love Rechy's narrative style, so I'm sure I'll dig it.
Margaret Robbins
Jul 20, 2012 Margaret Robbins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I thought this was a good book, and I enjoyed it. I thought the end part about his life in California dragged a bit, and I was more interested in his childhood and college years. I thought it was an interesting exploration of identity, and particularly for the first half of the book, I couldn't put it down.
Aug 04, 2013 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
After reading this entire memoir by Mr Rechy, much of which involves him engaging in sex acts with men, it's still not clear to me if Mr Rechy is straight, gay, or bisexual, or (as the constructionists would say) whether those terms have much meaning.
Feb 22, 2011 Tlcp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biographical...this can happen to someone...
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John Rechy is an American author, the child of a Scottish father and a Mexican-American mother. In his novels he has written extensively about homosexual culture in Los Angeles and wider America, and is among the pioneers of modern LGBT literature. Drawing on his own background, he has also contributed to Chicano literature, especially with his novel The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez, which is ta ...more
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