The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux

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Synopsis

In the Dear John letter Daddy left for Mother and me, on a Saturday afternoon in early June 1996, on the inlaid Florentine table in the front entry of our house, which we found that night upon returning from a day spent in the crème-colored light of Neiman’s, Daddy wrote that he was leaving us because Mother was crazy, and because she’d driven me crazy in a way that perfectly suited her own insanity.


In a memoir studded with delicious lines and unforgettable set pieces, Robert Leleux describes his East Texas boyhood and coming of age under the tutelage of his eccentric, bewigged, flamboyant, and knowing mother.

Left high and dry by Daddy and living on their in-laws’ horse ranch in a white-pillared house they can’t afford, Robert and Mother find themselves chronically low on cash. Soon they are forced into more modest quarters, and as a teenaged Robert watches with hilarity and horror, Mother begins a desperate regimen of makeovers, extreme plastic surgeries, and finally hairpiece epoxies---all calculated to secure a new, wealthy husband. 

Mother’s strategy takes her, with Robert in tow, from the glamorous environs of the Neiman Marcus beauty salon to questionable surgery offices and finally to a storefront clinic on the wrong side of Houston. Meanwhile, Robert begins his own journey away from Mother and through the local theater’s world of miscast hopefuls and thwarted ambitions---and into a romance that surprises absolutely no one but himself.

Written with a warmth and a wicked sense of fun that lighten even the most awful circumstances, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy is a sparkling debut. 


 

About Robert Leleux

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ROBERT LELEUX teaches creative writing in the New York city schools. His nonfiction pieces have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Texas Observer, and elsewhere. He lives with his husband, Michael Leleux, in Manhattan.
 
Published January 8, 2008 by St. Martin's Press. 287 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Gay & Lesbian, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The author’s slightly histrionic recollections contain over-the-top set pieces regarding his evangelical school, Mother’s hair treatment (she winds up with a cheap wig glued to her bald head) and her impromptu boob and lip augmentations.

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The New York Times

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Robert Leleux has made his mother the centerpiece of his frantically giddy coming-of-age story.

Jan 14 2008 | Read Full Review of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy

NPR

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When Robert Leleux's father left him and his mother in 1996, she set out to remarry rich. In his funny memoir, Leleux recounts their erratic family journey, which saw Leleux's mother pursue risky cosmetic procedures to meet her goal.

Mar 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy

NPR

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NPR coverage of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

Mar 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy

Red Room

Beginning with his father’s abandonment when Leleux was 17, the author traces the erratic aftermath in the home of his desperate mom, whose plan to remarry rich leads her to pursue a risky and exorbitant series of surgical enhancements, turning inside-out Leleux’s hope that “the end of marriage [...

Jan 11 2008 | Read Full Review of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy

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