Memories of a Gay Catholic Boyhood: Coming of Age in the Sixties


Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.27 X 0.72 inches | 1.03 pounds

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About the Author

John D'Emilio is Emeritus Professor of History and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and the author of many books, including The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture, also published by Duke University Press; Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin; Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970​; and Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow, and he was a finalist for the National Book Award for Lost Prophet, which won the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award for nonfiction. D'Emilio was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 2005 and was named Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune in 2004. He lives in Chicago.


"Unusual among today's memoirs, this one is upbeat and generous spirited about its author's early life and challenges. . . . The author's compassionate spirit suffuses the text to such a degree that one hopes for a future continuation into his years as a professional historian. A warm, humane coming-of-age memoir. . . ."-- "Kirkus Reviews" (4/15/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"In this fascinating self-portrait and insightful portrait of his times, a prominent queer historian recalls growing up in the 1950s and '60s--a smart, pious, conservative, Catholic boy from a working-class Italian family in the Bronx transforms himself into a radical left, openly gay Columbia University student."--Jonathan Ned Katz, author of "The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams"
"D'Emilio's youthful reminiscences make for a classic work of literature that deserves a wide readership. One hopes this memoir is only the first in a succession." (Starred Review)--David Azzolina "Library Journal" (6/1/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"[D'Emilio's] memoir is a love letter to Manhattan. but also to the Bronx of his childhood, to the schools that educated and occasionally hindered him, to the family members who nourished him--even when they no longer understood him--so he would someday find his life's work. . . . Based on the many pleasures offered by this book, I hope he decides to write the sequel."--Daniel A. Burr "Gay and Lesbian Review" (9/1/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"D'Emilio, who has been an eminent historian of the American gay man's experience and struggle during his lifetime, has turned his searching eye inward and now gives us a different kind of history--one that's pegged to his own life, loves and learnings. Every page is fork-tender with emotion, and to be honest, in my mind's eye, I imagined him going back to a huge file of every sweet or difficult or thoughtful observation he'd ever excised from one of his academic books and sewing them together with hindsight for this volume."--S. Bear Bergman "Xtra!" (10/27/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"As D'Emilio applies his skills as an acclaimed social and cultural historian to his own youth, Memories of a Gay Catholic Boyhood offers us a caring and thoughtful window into a time of enormous change in American society and the Catholic Church. His account is warm and gracious; he is quick to acknowledge his own limitations while acknowledging the crucial role of his friends and family in shaping and loving the gay Catholic man he became."--Brian Linnane "America" (6/16/2023 12:00:00 AM)