A Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection
The SEATTLE READS, One City, One Book Selection for 2013
Stories for Boys is a magnetic meditation on what happens when a decades-long lie is brutally revealed. Moving, brave, and unforgettable, this deeply personal book pushes us all further into the light.
CHERYL STRAYED, author of Wild
With clean vivid descriptions, and ruthless soul-wrenching self examination, Greg Martin bravely tells a story he never imagined having to tell. The reader is privileged here, to be allowed to watch as he wrestles with his sons, his own belief systems, his urge towards forgiveness and even Walt Whitman. This finely made, deeply felt memoir restores our faith in the power of language and story to make sense of a broken world.
PAM HOUSTON, author of Contents May Have Shifted
Stories for Boys is a charming and moving coming-of-age story, its narrator situated in the pivotal position between being his father’s son and his sons’ father. So refreshing and unique is Martin’s treatment of the material that the reader will never mistake thi sbook for its inferior competitors dealing with similar subjects (suicide, latent homesexuality, child abuse). One hopes this is the new wave of memoir: stories of people wholse lives are not easily categorized nor dismissed. It is a sweet read.
ANTONYA NELSON, author of Bound
Some books hold hard truths but offer a life ring of hope and even humor in an ocean of sadness. Stories for Boys, Gregory Martin’s memoir of his family’s coming to terms with the fact that his father is a closeted gay man, is such a book.
MARY ANN GWINN, The Seattle Times
Most crucially, it is a book about truth and reconciliation, of one man with his father and his sons, and of a culture that is changing in terms of what we teach boys about sex, but not quickly enough for our children to be unscathed.
MOLLY BEER, The Rumpus
Besides his ability to write sentences of utter devastation, Martin also weaves evocative comparisons between his father and the life and writings of Walt Whitman. He makes the book all the more distinctive and accessible by including emails from his father, family photos, children’s drawings, tree house diagrams and pop culture images. Stories for Boys is, in essence, stories for everyone.
CAROLINE HORWITZ, Los Angeles Review
[Stories for Boys] becomes profoundly touching as [Gregory Martin] takes himself to task, and over it all presides the spirit of his guiding light and inspiration, Walt Whitman, able to become sympathetic with any passing stranger, open to all, forgiving to all.
NICK DIMARTINO, Shelf Awareness
Unexpectedly relatable and gripping, Stories for Boys chronicles the healing and, most importantly, love within a family.
DANIEL TEHRANI, OUT Magazine
Gregory Martin’s beautiful first memoir, Mountain City, is no preparation for his intensely rendered second, Stories for Boys, and this is a good thing. Exploring new territory here, Martin intelligently avoids the serial memoirist’s tendency to pick up where the first left off in story and emotional terrain; he also flexes more prose muscles to draw readers along a narrative that’s both unexpected and universal.
LISA ROMEO, ForeWord
Through the examination of silences in his family, Martin artfully and honestly addresses the taboo topics of suicide, child abuse, and hidden homosexuality. These are stories that need to be told.
SARAH SEYBOLD, Propeller
This is a book for anyone who is a parent, and anyone who has parents. It is a few moments on a lifelong journey of learning empathy that resonates with loud and small echoes of love.
JENNIFER SPRUIT, Prism International
Stories for Boys is the repressed Western cousin of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Are You My Mother? In place of Bechdel’s obsessive perseveration, Martin gives us almost taciturn access to a shifting emotional landscape. Here we can see what it means to learn to love someone in a new way, in the long time after the moment when everything changes. This is not a comfortable space, but it is where most of us live most of the time and we’re lucky to have Martin as a guide and cartographer.
ANDRA HIBBERT, Apt
This is a book that works like the mind itself in a state of trauma, attacking its focal point from all angles, then circling around to try again. In the course of this dance, Stories for Boys becomes a tale of anger and sadness, confusion and wonder, and then, only in the end, once all the possibilities have been exhausted, into one of familial reconciliation against all odds.
WILL DONNELLY, Green Mountains Review
Few parents tell their children everything, but for extreme secrecy, Greg Martin’s father had few equals. Greg was an adult before he learned that this dad had been having anonymous gay hook-ups throughout his thirty-nine year marriage. Confronting that truth was only the first step in his reintroduction to the man who had raised him. Written at a time when Greg himself had become a husband and a father of two young boys, Stories for Boys explores the evolving relationship between two men getting to know each other for the second time. A candid, humane memoir.
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