The “utterly compelling, uncommonly beautiful” collection of personal essays (Newsweek) that established Jo Ann Beard as one of the leading writers of her generation.

Cousins, mothers, sisters, dolls, dogs, best friends: these are the fixed points in Jo Ann Beard’s universe, the constants that remain when the boys of her youth — and then men who replace them — are gone. This widely praised collection of autobiographical essays summons back, with astonishing grace and power, moments of childhood epiphany as well as the cataclysms of adult life: betrayal, divorce, death.

The Boys of My Youth heralded the arrival of an immensely gifted and influential writer and its essays remain surprising, original, and affecting today.

“A luminous, funny, heartbreaking book of essays about life and its defining moments.” —Harper’s Bazaar

What's Inside

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"Smart, funny, and moving...A gifted and gutsy writer...This is what a first collection of stories should be."—Barbara Fisher, Boston Globe
"Extraordinary...Beard is writing not with the romanticism of a girl looking up at the stars, but with the brilliant cold light of the stars looking down on us."—Ted Anton, Chicago Tribune
"Beard remembers (or imagines) her childhood self with an uncanny lucidity that startles."—Laura Miller, New York Times Book Review
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