BookBrowse Reviews Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman

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Monkey Boy

by Francisco Goldman

Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman X
Monkey Boy by Francisco Goldman
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  • Published:
    May 2021, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron
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In this fervent work of autobiographical fiction, Francisco Goldman reflects on his working-class Boston upbringing and the complicated relationships of his formative years.

Francisco Goldman's Monkey Boy exists in the liminal space between memoir and fiction. Like Goldman himself, son of a Jewish immigrant father from Ukraine and a Catholic immigrant mother from Guatemala, his writing defies easy categorization, landing in the zone of autobiographical fiction. "I made things up in order to be able to tell the truth," Goldman told the Paris Review's Lila Byok. "...Once you claim that you are writing a narrative purely from memory you are already in the realm of fiction."

The book's semi-eponymous narrator is Francisco Goldberg — Frankie — a 49-year-old journalist-cum-novelist; its title comes from the name given to him by childhood bullies. Frankie has recently returned to New York City from Mexico City, where he was living, because of death threats he received following publication of his book about the murder of a Guatemalan bishop, a ...

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