Monkey Boy: A Novel
Date: May 2021
Duration: 12 hours 12 minutes
Our narrator, Francisco Goldberg, has been living and working in Mexico City as a journalist for over a decade, but has recently returned to New York City in hopes of 'going home again.' It's been five years since the end of his last relationship and he is falling in love again. Soon he is beckoned back to Boston by the high school girlfriend who was witness to his greatest youthful humiliations, and his mother, Yolanda, around whom his story orbits like a dark star. Backdropping this five day trip to his childhood home is the specter of Frank's recently deceased father, Bert, an immigrant from Ukraine, volcanically tempered, pathologically abusive, yet also at times infuriatingly endearing; as well as the high school bullies who gave him the moniker 'monkey boy' and his estranged, larger-than-life sister, Lexi.
Told in an open, irresistibly funny and passionate voice, this extraordinary portrait of growing up outside the dominant culture unearths the hidden cruelties in a predominantly white, working-class Boston suburb where Francisco-a.k.a. Paco, aka Frankie Gee-came of age. A crowning achievement from one of the most important American voices in the last forty years.