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Domingo Martinez lays bare his interior and exterior worlds as he struggles to make sense of the violent and the ugly, along with the beautiful and the loving, in a Texas border town in the 1980s. Partly a reflection on the culture of machismo and partly an exploration of the author’s boyhood spent in his sister’s hand-me-down clothes, The Boy Kings of Texasdelves into the enduring and complex bond between Martinez and his deeply flawed but fiercely protective older brother, Daniel, and features a cast of memorable characters. Charming, painful and enlightening, this book examines the traumas and pleasures of growing up in South Texas and the often terrible consequences when two very different cultures collide on the banks of a dying river.
In The Boy Kings of Texas, Domingo Martinez traces his life from a rough Texas border town to the “wet wilderness of civility” in Seattle. With sentences that often burst like small fireworks, this is a brave book, an angry dissection of the macho values that dominated his upbringing and a sorrowful account of his love, often betrayed, for his family—most poignantly, for his brother. Like the best of its genre, this memoir is absolutely specific and totally universal.