Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas

Knopf. Apr. 2019. 416p. ISBN 9781524733278. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524733285. MEMOIR
Black, an LGBTQ activist and Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, provides a touching if unfocused memoir about familial relationships and the power of building personal bridges. Black’s mother, Anne, lost the use of her legs to polio but defied societal expectations by teaching herself to walk on crutches, marrying, raising three children, and building a career. Sensitive and introverted, the author drew on that maternal example of resilience to weather a childhood of upheavals and find success in the film industry. Yet throughout his youth and early adulthood, Black kept his homosexuality hidden, fearful its revelation would be too much for his conservative, religious mother to accept. His eventual coming out proved to solidify their bond instead of destroying it; both found worthy lessons in each other’s perspectives and drew strength from each other in order to face future struggles.
VERDICT This earnest memoir is somewhat overstuffed with discussions of religion and Hollywood; the greatest appreciation will likely come from readers interested in a heartfelt look at self-acceptance as well as the complexities of family or personal stories about mending divides between liberal and conservative

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month