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The Boy Kings of Texas : A Memoir
by Domingo Martinez


Overview - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST Lyrical and gritty, thisauthenticcoming-of-age story about aborder-town family in Brownsville, Texas, insightfully illuminates a little-understood corner of America. Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving, in a Texas border town in the 1980s.  Read more...

 
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More About The Boy Kings of Texas by Domingo Martinez
 
 
 
Overview
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST Lyrical and gritty, thisauthenticcoming-of-age story about aborder-town family in Brownsville, Texas, insightfully illuminates a little-understood corner of America. Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving, in a Texas border town in the 1980s. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author s boyhood spent in his sister s hand-me-down clothes, this book delves into the enduring, complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed but fiercely protective older brother, Daniel.Itfeatures a cast of memorable characters, including his gun-hoarding former farmhand, Gramma, and the Mimis two of his older sisters who for a short, glorious time manage to transform themselves from poor Latina adolescents into upper-class white girls. Martinez provides a glimpse into a society where children are traded like commerce, physical altercations routinely solve problems, drugs are rampant, sex is often crude, and people depend on the family witch doctor for advice. Charming, painful, and enlightening, this book examinesthe traumas and pleasures of growing up in South Texas and the often terrible consequences when different cultures collide on the banks of a dying river."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780762779192
  • ISBN-10: 0762779195
  • Publisher: Lyons Press
  • Publish Date: July 2012
  • Page Count: 443


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Literary
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-06-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

Opening with the brutal tale of the murder of a beloved pet avenged, Seattle journalist Martinez's memoir of growing up in Texas in the 70s and 80s along the Mexican border is an emotional roller coaster rendered in exquisite detail. Struggling with his cultural identity and the usual kaleidoscope of adolescent emotions, Martinez felt like a perpetual outsider. Even more marginalized by his family's emotional reserve and propensity for violence (physical as well as emotional), he eventually finds solace in substances before moving to Seattle to live with his older brother in hopes of a more peaceful and productive life. But old habits die hard. Once there, Martinez finds himself sucked into an emotional whirlpool once again; the violence he thought he left in Texas follows him, as do his demons. Though written with a strong, clear voice, Martinez goes into often lengthy digressions, frequently losing his momentum and, occasionally, the thread of conversation between writer and reader. Still, this fascinating and sometimes horrifying account of growing up Hispanic in a Texas border town is an artfully rendered take on family, community, and one man's journey to adulthood. (July)

 
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