Author Wade Rouse
Critically acclaimed memoirist Wade Rouse will discuss his latest book, America’s Boy, a quintessential American story: the tug of conformity versus the pull of individualism. Happily, individualism wins in the end but not without struggle and pain. Rouse’s memoir reads like a series of vignettes --- the chapters are quick, easily read and the humor often belies the seriousness of the topic. Rouse’s prose is light, witty and brisk. The book shines … especially when Rouse describes his family, namely his wonderful and vivid grandmothers.
Growing up in the Missouri Ozarks in the 1960s and ’70s, Wade Rouse was always a bit of an outsider. While some of his roughneck peers wore Wrangler jeans and had stylish crew cuts, Wade feathered his golden hair and sported a handmade leatherwork belt bearing his unfortunate childhood nickname, Wee-Pooh. Taunted by his classmates, Wade finds comfort in his offbeat but lovable family, but when a tragic motorcycle accident takes his brother’s life, Wade buries his sexuality along with his brother, vowing to be the son he believes his family wants.
America’s Boy is Wade Rouse’s tale of self-denial and self-discovery, and a tender tribute to the eccentric family that carried him through it all. Wade’s battle with himself—and the long road back to self-acceptance—forms the heart of America’s Boy, an arresting and utterly moving memoir about a boy learning to live (and love) in his own skin. Told with humor, courage, and boundless joy, America’s Boy is a love letter to a singular time in America’s heartland, to family, and to the growing pains that accompany self-discovery.