The Boys of My Youth

The Boys of My Youth

Book - 1998
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Baker & Taylor
Presents tales about youthful romantic awakenings and adult betrayals involving dangerous neighborhood boys and too-friendly barflies

Blackwell North Amer
Jo Ann Beard grew up amid a tightly knit clan of mothers, aunts, sisters, and girlfriends. Her steadfast family and its culture of women somehow made the prospect of dangerous neighborhood boys, friendly barflies, and potential romance all the more irresistible. But in these wonderfully engaging memory pieces, the boys of Beard's youth - and the men who eventually replace them - are elusive characters. Beloved boy dolls disintegrate, grade school crushes dissipate, and husbands disappear. The relationships that endure are the ones between women.
Childhood dramas are balanced by actual tragedies and adult betrayals, and Beard captures the collision of youthful longing and the hard intransigences of time and fate like no other writer. In the title story, two old friends, stumbling away from ruined marriages, remember the darkest moments of abandonment, but also the thrilling momentum of a car doing ninety and the strange allure of teenage basketball players. In the end, they realize that in matters of the heart, nothing much, yet somehow everything, has changed.

& Taylor

The single new writer to appear in The New Yorker magazine's 1996 fiction issue spins thirteen poignant, wry autobiographical tales about youthful romantic awakenings and adult betrayals involving dangerous neighborhood boys and too-friendly barflies. Tour.

Publisher: Boston : Little, Brown and Co., c1998.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316085540
Branch Call Number: 920 BEARD, J.
Characteristics: xiii, 208 p. ; 22 cm.


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WVMLStaffPicks Nov 13, 2014

Fierce, lucid and funny autobiographical essays from a new American writer. The boys and men of her life are elusive characters, while her tightly knit clan of mothers, aunts, sisters and girlfriends endure.

JCLHannahJaneC Sep 20, 2014

The essay, "Cousins" is a must-read. Because of the Barbie scene you ask? Absolutely!

But also for the beautiful portrayal of friendship and fierce loyalty.

Dec 04, 2011

What a beautiful, funny and touching book. It's poetry in many ways, but very readable. You'll recognize parts of yourself and others in this book.


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