My secret history (Theroux, Paul)(1989, hardcover)

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Andre Parent is an American writer and this large and populous novel is about his life and his secrets - his dreams, his privatise, everything that he kept hidden. He tells us that his secrets made him a writer, and his double life offered him a fascinating variety of subjects.

Presented in a series of six parts, each of which is self-contained, the novel begins in 1956 when Andre - or Andy - is an altar boy, and also an urgent lover. His experience of death and life is his coming-of-age and is also a prologue to “Whale Steaks”, the second section. In this the nineteen-year-old struggles to please his older girlfriend and his middle-aged patroness while at the same time holding down a job as a lifeguard at an Armenian country club outside Boston, Massachusetts. The results are bitter-sweet.