Blue Boy

Rakesh Satyal, May 2009.  Satyal’s semi-autobiographical novel is narrated by Kiran, a soon-to-know-he’s-gay tween in the early nineties, taking us on a whirlwind tour of pop culture along the way.  If this sounds similar to what Band Fags! did for the eighties, it is, and the books share a publisher as well.  The major differences are in structure – Blue Boy revolves around the annual school talent show – and in the somewhat weird and unfinished identity theme of Kiran convincing himself he’s an Indian deity named Krishna, which involves eating butter and painting his face with blue eyeshadow.

The shorter length and tighter structure elevate this novel above Band Fags!, although I’m closer to Kiran’s age than to the BF narrator’s, so maybe I just relate more to the pop culture references.  Extra points for mentioning Madonna’s song “Jimmy Jimmy,” about which I have not thought since I was Kiran’s age and wearing out my True Blue cassette.  Gay and Indian teens, especially those caught in the slender overlap of that particular Venn diagram, will love this book, but so will anyone born in the late seventies.

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This entry was posted in 2009, asian american, gay male, historical, problem novel, queer protagonist, Rakesh Satyal, realistic. Bookmark the permalink.

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