About My Life and the Kept Woman. A Memoir by John Rechy

By John Rechy

Gore Vidal has hailed John Rechy as “one of the few unique American writers of the final century,” and Michael Cunningham has referred to as him an writer “whose existence is nearly as attention-grabbing, and significant, as his work.” Rechy’s long-awaited memoir,About My existence and the saved Woman, is the author’s first open remedy of his life—and a testomony to the ability of delight and self-acceptance. Raised Mexican-American in El Paso, Texas, at a time whilst Latino childrens have been many times segregated, Rechy used to be usually assumed to be Anglo as a result of his mild epidermis, and had his identify “changed” for him by way of a instructor, from Juan to John. As he grew older—and as his fascination with the reminiscence of a infamous saved lady in his youth deepened—Rechy turned acutely aware that his changes lay not only in his historical past, yet in his sexuality. A relocating, strong tale of a lifestyles that bears witness to a few of the main riotous adjustments of the past...

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Extra resources for About My Life and the Kept Woman. A Memoir

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To ensure that she placed her hand with the rosary on my head so that the crucifix dangled before me like a warning. But she could not yank my thoughts away from the excitement created by the kept woman. What would she look like when she emerged out of the shadows of the church? I tried borrowing characteristics from the women in my father’s troupe of players, a lingering hint of his former life, that motley crew he recruited to play in his local productions, under the sponsorship of the parish priest, who offered him the school auditorium for his makeshift operas, which, nonetheless, my father tinted with a desperate splendor that dazzled the poverty-ridden population, some of whom, plucked by him to be his stars, learned under his tutelage to perform a pavan in the style of the court of Marie Antoinette.

Those included a staunch belief in the Catholic church and in the sacred virginity of the Holy Mother, considered the Mother of God, not only of Christ. They held an equally staunch belief in the virginity of unwed women. Señor’s initial threat to stop the marriage of my sister Olga and his son Luis soon escalated into an overt declaration of war conveyed by his tiny wife in a second visit to my family—the first visit had announced his fierce opposition. Señor’s wife was a woman so small, so like a buzzing hummingbird, that it was difficult to believe what was generally known, that she daily dressed Señor in suit, tie, and shoes, and then carried him, coaxing, pushing him a little, and finally shoving him—gently—to a reclining couch, where, propped up, he glowered through a window and denounced the modern world’s immorality.

Being underage, the teenagers required permission of their respective parents. They had my parents’ for a reason that Señor did not know. Now, to understand the enormity of Señor’s wrath at his son, and my mother and father’s escalating anxiety that my sister’s wedding proceed immediately, one must know that these implications of danger were swirling on the border of two juxtaposed cities—Juárez in Mexico and El Paso in Texas—cities separated only by a stretch of the Rio Grande, most often a bed of dry sand along whose banks lazy spiders spun their webs.

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