Trying to get a head start on my winter reading, I have just received a book that was recently recommended by Raquel Z. Rivera (via Facebook)—Chulito: A Novel (Magnus Books) by Charles Rice-González, published in 2011.
Description: Set against a vibrant South Bronx neighborhood and the youth culture of Manhattan’s piers, Chulito is a coming-of-age, coming out love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop-loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters that populate his block. Chulito, which means “cutie,” is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up including Carlos, who was Chulito’s best friend until they hit puberty and people started calling Carlos a pato … a faggot. Chulito rejects Carlos and buries his feelings for him, but when Carlos comes home from his first year away at college and they share a secret kiss, Chulito’s worlds collide as his ideas of being a young man, being macho, and being in love are challenged. Vivid, sexy, funny, heartbreaking, and fearless, this knock out novel breaks new ground as the first novel detailing a gay Puerto Rican experience in New York City.
Charles Rice-González (born in Puerto Rico and reared in the Bronx) is a writer, long-time community and LGBT activist, and Executive Director of BAAD!—The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. He holds a B.A. in Communications and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. His debut novel, Chulito, was released in October 2011, and he co-edited, with Charlie Vázquez, From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction (August 2011).
For more information, see http://www.charlesricegonzalez.com/id70.html