America's Boy: A Memoir
Title: America's Boy: A Memoir
Author: Wade Rouse
A journalist remembers his childhood struggles to gain acceptance from the jeans-wearing set, his envy of his admired older brother, his parent’s atypical personalities, and the Fourth of July accident that ended his brother’s life.
In the tradition of such quirky and smart coming-of-age memoirs as Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors and Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy, America’s Boy is an arresting and funny tale of growing up different in America’s heartland.
Wade didn’t quite fit in. While schoolmates had crewcuts and wore Wrangler jeans, Wade styled his hair in imitation of Robbie Benson circa Ice Castles and shopped in the Sears husky section. Wade’s father insisted on calling everyone “honey” — even male gas station attendants. His mother punctuated her conversations with “WHAT?!” and constantly answered herself as though she was being cross-examined. He goes to school with a pack of kids called goat ropers who make the boys from Deliverance look like honor students. And he both loved and hated his perfect older brother.
While other families traveled to Florida and Hawaii for vacation, Wade’s family packed their clothes in garbage bags and drove to their log cabin on Sugar Creek in the Missouri Ozarks. And it is here that Wade found refuge from his everyday struggle to fit in — until a sudden, terrible accident on the Fourth of July took his brother’s life and changed everything.
Equally nostalgic, poignant, funny, and compelling, this is a story of what it is to be normal, what it means to fit in, and what it means to be yourself.