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Autobiography of My Hungers
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University of Wisconsin Press 2013
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Description
Rigoberto González, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, takes a second piercing look at his past through a startling new lens: hunger. The need for sustenance originating in childhood poverty, the adolescent emotional need for solace and comfort, the adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body—all are explored by González in a series of heartbreaking and poetic vignettes. Each vignette is a defining moment of self-awareness, every moment an important step in a lifelong journey toward clarity, knowledge, and the nourishment that comes in various forms—even "the smallest biggest joys" help piece together a complex portrait of a gay man of color who at last defines himself by what he learns, not by what he yearns for.



Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, Publishing Triangle



"Told in a series of revealing vignettes and poems, González's Autobiography of my Hungers turns moments of need and want into revelations of truth and self-awareness, creating the portrait of an artist that is complex if not entirely complete."—El Paso Times



"Through his provocative vignettes, González communicates a lifetime of struggle for affirmation and self-acceptance."—Make/Shift
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read, Open EPUB eBook
Street Date:
05/06/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780299292539
ASIN:
B00BIZNVRA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Rigoberto González. (2013). Autobiography of My Hungers. University of Wisconsin Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Rigoberto González. 2013. Autobiography of My Hungers. University of Wisconsin Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Rigoberto González, Autobiography of My Hungers. University of Wisconsin Press, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Rigoberto González. Autobiography of My Hungers. University of Wisconsin Press, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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      • value: Mexican American
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      • role: Author
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        Rigoberto González is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose and the editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing. His memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa won the American Book Award, and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, serves on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is an associate professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.
      • name: Rigoberto González
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title
Autobiography of My Hungers
fullDescription
Rigoberto González, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, takes a second piercing look at his past through a startling new lens: hunger. The need for sustenance originating in childhood poverty, the adolescent emotional need for solace and comfort, the adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body—all are explored by González in a series of heartbreaking and poetic vignettes. Each vignette is a defining moment of self-awareness, every moment an important step in a lifelong journey toward clarity, knowledge, and the nourishment that comes in various forms—even "the smallest biggest joys" help piece together a complex portrait of a gay man of color who at last defines himself by what he learns, not by what he yearns for.

Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, Publishing Triangle

"Told in a series of revealing vignettes and poems, González's Autobiography of my Hungers turns moments of need and want into revelations of truth and self-awareness, creating the portrait of an artist that is complex if not entirely complete."—El Paso Times

"Through his provocative vignettes, González communicates a lifetime of struggle for affirmation and self-acceptance."—Make/Shift
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 18, 2013
        Through a series of tiny, radiantly moving vignettes, award-winning memoirist and poet González (Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa), a first-generation Mexican-American, has created a memoir through the lens of his hungers—for food, motherland, recognition, acceptance, passion, and love. Interspersed among these short prose pieces are piedritas, which Gonzáles explains as the bits of debris that, as a child, he had to sort from dry beans before cooking “to be tossed at the conclusion of the cleaning.” With their complexity, gleam, texture, and strength, he thought them “much more interesting than the beans, which huddled in the bowl, boring as clones.” In this book, they are represented by poems that function like arias, interrupting the narrative to express pure feeling in the present tense. Piled one upon another, the stories and poems paint a kaleidoscopic, painfully truthful self-portrait, like the “dazzling forest museum” made of junk by an old woman that González stumbled across in a trip to Switzerland, “gathering bits and pieces of this and that in order to build a gallery of tiny gems, colorful and edible as gumdrops.” Immigrant and gay readers may experience release in the book’s agonizing familiarity; all readers will find it lusciously evocative.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 15, 2013
        Sweet and sad but generally tender vignettes about a poet/professor's coming-of-age as a gay Mexican immigrant. Gonzalez (English/Rutgers-Newark; Mariposa Gown, 2012, etc.) revisits some of the same territory as his American Book Award-winning Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (2006), though this is not a flowing narrative but more like a scrapbook of short pieces, both prose and poetry, few of them longer than a page. As the title suggests, "hunger" provides the thematic thread, not only for food (his family was poor) and later for sex, but also for identity, connection and acceptance. "I was afraid of my hungry gay body," he writes, though he didn't realize his sexual orientation until his experiences with an early girlfriend made it obvious to her and to him. His father had mocked him because he was fat, gentle and nonathletic. A Christmas photo spurs memories of his impoverished upbringing that remind him of many others: "At the time of the photograph, I didn't notice the tree going hungry in the back, its plastic branches spaced apart like bones on a ribcage. The tinsel drooping like strings of saliva. An anemic rosary of Christmas lights. My brother and I knelt in front of the tree, our striped shirts compensating for the dearth of gifts beneath it." Later, he writes with writerly self-importance of his life as an author: " 'What do you write about?' he asked, and I answered, quite simplistically, 'Life, ' offering the man I was going to sleep with that night a bouquet of yellow flowers instead of thorns had I admitted, more truthfully, 'Death' or 'Violence' or 'Pain, ' as in the horrors that writers will inflict on people who ask for them." The literary sensibility speaks more broadly to the human condition, as the author relates the particularities of his own experience through shards of memory.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2013

        Multi-award-winning poet Gonzalez (English, Rutgers-Newark, State Univ. of New Jersey) writes his second memoir, after Butterfly Boy: Memoirs of a Chicano Mariposa, through the lens of his hungers--appetite, yearning, desire, and want. This stirring and imaginative collection of vignettes extends from the author's childhood years, beginning shortly after his arrival in California from Mexico, and continuing through his move to New York. Whether describing a desire for new clothes to replace the tattered rags he and his immigrant family wear out of necessity, connection with his homeland, or a a lover, Gonzalez's stories are moving and often painful as he captures the feelings of isolation so common to both immigrants and gay men. At times, the narrative is punctuated by piedritas, short, poetic interludes of memory and raw emotion, which the author describes as pebbles sorted from the beans. These poems stand on their own, but they also give insight to the larger work. VERDICT This beautiful, unconventional memoir, infused with poetic language, places Gonzalez firmly in the top tier of American writers. Not only aficionados of memoir, poetry, and Latin American and gay literature but also general audiences will enjoy these stories and poems.--Mark Manivong, Lib. of Congress, Washington, DC

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2014

        In his second memoir, award-winning Chicano poet Gonzalez uses poems and stories to illustrate his life through his hungers--for food, love, new clothes, and his culture. A strikingly unconventional memoir that captures Gonzalez's sense of isolation as both a gay man and an immigrant. (LJ 6/1/13)

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Rigoberto González, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, takes a second piercing look at his past through a startling new lens: hunger. The need for sustenance originating in childhood poverty, the adolescent emotional need for solace and comfort, the adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body—all are explored by González in a series of heartbreaking and poetic vignettes. Each vignette is a defining moment of self-awareness, every moment an important step in a lifelong journey toward clarity, knowledge, and the nourishment that comes in various forms—even "the smallest biggest joys" help piece together a complex portrait of a gay man of color who at last defines himself by what he learns, not by what he yearns for.

Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, Publishing Triangle

"Told in a series of revealing vignettes and poems, González's Autobiography of...
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tableOfContents
acknowledgments allegory I. Leaving the Motherland, Mother Leaving Me duty piedrita potato zacapu piedrita jugete trash lift witch piedrita fire x-mas crayon note i crooked piedrita biology wicked dream piedrita glove migra II. Unsettled Independence invisible piedrita tongue insomnia note ii nightshift xóchitl piedrita voice reprimand martini III. In Search of Paradise station piedrita kill outcast eye kite clown piedrita tether papi godiva piedrita IV. Body Cravings love empty piedrita sketch rain chi piedrita ghosts pseudonym piedrita questions note iii piedrita haughty extraction bleed voracious piedrita forest
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      • description: Biography & Autobiography / General
      • code: BIO026000
      • description: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Memoirs
      • code: BIO031000
      • description: Biography & Autobiography / LGBTQ+