Released on 14 March 1986.
‘Edmund White has crossed The Catcher in the Rye with De Profundis, J. D. Salinger with Oscar Wilde, to create an extraordinary novel. It is a clear and sinister pool in which goldfish and piranhas both swim. The subject of A Boy’s Own Story is less a particular boy than the bodies and souls of American men; the teachers and masters; the lovers, brothers, hustlers and friends; the flawed fathers who would be kings to their own sons who should be princes’ New York Times Review
‘A breathtaking evocation of a young boy growing up in the fifties in an American town . . . The book’s extraordinary power lies in the tension between the obsessive longing and then moments of denial, the attempts to transcend or avoid the inescapable fact of the boy’s sexuality . . . There have been many good novels of adolescence; this one surpasses them all’ Jeremy Seabrook, New Society
‘The boy’s self-portrait shines with authenticity, he is an extraordinary but plausible mixture of sweetness and deviousness . . . Add to this the fact that White’s prose is marvellously sensual while his eye is sharply satiric and you have something of the flavour of an outstanding text which should appeal to a wide audience. The book goes beyond its homosexual theme to say something about the whole process of growing up’ Robert Nye, Guardian
Inspired by Alice Adams' Invincible Summer, we've put together a list of what we consider to be the very best books about growing up.