What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth (Hardcover)

A Memoir of Brotherhood (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiog)

By Rigoberto González

University of Wisconsin Press, 9780299316907, 208pp.

Publication Date: March 13, 2018

List Price: 24.95*
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Description

Burdened by poverty, illiteracy, and vulnerability as Mexican immigrants to California's Coachella Valley, three generations of González men turn to vices or withdraw into depression. As brothers Rigoberto and Alex grow to manhood, they are haunted by the traumas of their mother's early death, their lonely youth, their father's desertion, and their grandfather's invective. Rigoberto's success in escaping—first to college and then by becoming a writer—is blighted by his struggles with alcohol and abusive relationships, while Alex contends with difficult family relations, his own rocky marriage, and fatherhood.

Descending into a dark emotional space that compromises their mental and physical health, the brothers eventually find hope in aiding each other. This is an honest and revealing window into the complexities of Latino masculinity, the private lives of men, and the ways they build strength under the weight of grief, loss, and despair.


About the Author

Rigoberto Gonzalez is the author of seventeen books of poetry and prose, including the memoirs Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa (winner of the American Book Award) and Autobiography of My Hungers. He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers magazine, serves on the board of trustees of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), and is a professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.


Praise For What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of Brotherhood (Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiog)

"A powerful and moving portrait of a complex and troubled family and of memory and regret. González looks back not in anger but with great generosity of spirit." —Guillermo Reyes, author of Madre and I


"With gut-wrenching, skin-close honesty, Rigoberto González—already decorated for the stunning achievements of his two previous memoirs—offers a riveting account of the sustaining love between brothers in the midst of raw grief, trauma, and wrenching poverty. The stakes couldn't be higher or the writing more intense. A literary victory." —Joy Castro, author of Island of Bones