The University of Wisconsin Press

Memoir / Latin American Studies / Gay & Lesbian Interest / Theater & Drama


Madre and I
A Memoir of Our Immigrant Lives
Guillermo Reyes

Writing in Latinidad: Autobiographical Voices of U.S. Latinos/as
Susana Chávez-Silverman, Paul Allatson, Silvia D. Spitta, Rafael Campo, Series Editors

“Guillermo Reyes’ memoir is an endearing story of ‘one mother and one son’—a pair of Chilean outsiders navigating the world together but looking at the landscape through diverging lenses.”
—Rigoberto González, author of Butterfly Boy

•Honorable Mention, Best Auto/Biography in English, International Latino Book Awards

In this moving and funny memoir, award-winning playwright Guillermo Reyes untangles his life as the secretly illegitimate son of a Chilean immigrant to the United States and as a young man struggling with sexual repression, body image, and gay identity. But this is a double-decker memoir that also tells the poignant, bittersweet, and adventurous story of Guillermo's mother, María, who supports herself and her son cleaning houses and then working as a nanny in Washington, D.C., and eventually in Hollywood.

In one memorable scene, after realizing that her friend Carmen is cleaning the house of one of the producers of Annie Hall, María recruits her to take her picture as she poses dramatically with Mr. Joffe's Oscar in hand. It is María's defiant yet determined attitude amidst her sacrifices that allows for Guillermo's spirited coming of age and coming out.

Guillermo ReyesGuillermo Reyes is associate professor of theater and head of the playwriting program at Arizona State University. He is author of Men on the Verge of a His-panic Breakdown and other plays.

Photo credit: Sean Kapera Photography

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The cover of Madre and I is a moody photo of a mother and child walking, with a collage of snowcapped mountains and a Hollywood Blvd sign in front.

May 2010

LC: 2009041310 PS
288 pp.    6 x 9
11 b/w photos

Book icon Paper $18.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-23624-3
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"Their common ground is the drama of their encounters with discovery, heartbreak, and passion––the explosive emotions that light up the stage of their two-actor theater. "Candor, great wit, and humor."
––Horacio N. Roque Ramirez, University of California, Santa Barbara

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