Growing up "different" in the Ozarks is tough for a kid like Wade, especially with a wacky family and an all-American older brother. Wade's battle with himself- and the long road back to self-acceptance-forms the heart of this nostalgic, poignant, brutally funny and courageous memoir about what it means to be "normal," what it means to fit in, and, ultimately, what it means to be yourself. More
Growing up "different" in the rural Ozarks - a place that made the fellas from Deliverance look like the Jonas Brothers - wasn't easy for a little boy like Wade Rouse, a Winnie-the-Pooh children's clothing model with a love of pageants, pie and pretty ascots.
While country schoolmates sported crew cuts and dreamed of being farmers, Wade sported a feathered 'do and dreamed of being Robbie Benson. Wade's whacky family didn't make growing up any easier: Wade's father, an extroverted engineer, insisted on calling everyone "honey"—even male gas station attendants—and his mother, a chatty nurse, never stopped talking.
And Wade's All-American older brother excelled at rural activities, like hunting and fishing, that Wade hated. Every summer, Wade's eccentric kin packed their clothes in garbage bags and drove to their log cabin on Sugar Creek in the Ozarks. And it was amidst this simple beauty that Wade found refuge from his everyday struggle to fit in-until a sudden, terrible accident took his brother's life and changed everything. Afraid to lose the love of his remaining family, Wade chose to bury not only his brother but also his identity and burgeoning sexuality, and forget them for a very long time.
Hailed by the Washington Post as "a revelatory story about acceptance, pride and the many ways family can surprise us" and by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as "a ribald, wrenching memoir . that could be the script for a new hybrid TV show, Will and Grace move to Mayberry," America's Boy is Wade Rouse's bittersweet and utterly moving tale of self-denial and self-discovery, and a tender tribute to the family that carried him through it all. Wade's battle with himself- and the long road back to self-acceptance-forms the heart of this nostalgic, poignant, brutally funny and courageous memoir about what it means to be "normal," what it means to fit in, and, ultimately, what it means to be yourself.