The University of Wisconsin Press

Memoir / Gay & Lesbian Interest / Latino Interest

Autobiography of My Hungers
Rigoberto González

Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies
David Bergman, Joan Larkin, and Raphael Kadushin, Series Editors

Writers for Writers Award, Poets & Writers magazine

“An unforgettable portrait of the artist as a young immigrant gay poet. These brief, passionate chapters are filled with rare courage, raw honesty, and the uncommon beauty of a life spent yearning for consolation and hope. Absolutely arresting.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic & Desire

Rigoberto González, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, takes a second piercing look at his past through a startling new lens: hunger.

The need for sustenance originating in childhood poverty, the adolescent emotional need for solace and comfort, the adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body—all are explored by González in a series of heartbreaking and poetic vignettes.

Each vignette is a defining moment of self-awareness, every moment an important step in a lifelong journey toward clarity, knowledge, and the nourishment that comes in various forms—even “the smallest biggest joys” help piece together a complex portrait of a gay man of color who at last defines himself by what he learns, not by what he yearns for.

Rigoberto González is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose and the editor of Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing. His memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa won the American Book Award, and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, serves on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is an associate professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey.


“Told in a series of revealing vignettes and poems, González's Autobiography of my Hungers turns moments of need and want into revelations of truth and self-awareness, creating the portrait of an artist that is complex if not entirely complete.”
El Paso Times

“Rigoberto González's trim yet artistically potent Autobiography of My Hungers combines poetry, musings, memories, pleasures, pains, and most importantly, yearnings that have made him the exacting artist he has become today. . . . González's self-analysis by means of mixed media is stimulating, enlightening, and well worth the journey.”
Bay Area Reporter

“This beautiful, unconventional memoir, infused with poetic language, places González firmly in the top tier of American writers. Not only aficionados of memoir, poetry, and Latin American and gay literature but also general audiences will enjoy these stories and poems.”
Library Journal

“Immigrant and gay readers may experience release in the book's agonizing familiarity; all readers will find it lusciously evocative.”
Publishers Weekly

“González writes with deep, soul-crushing sadness. He pens with the beauty of a poet.”
Dallas Voice

“Through his provocative vignettes, González communicates a lifetime of struggle for affirmation and self-acceptance.”

“A slim volume of candid vignettes that illuminate an artist's blossoming against a backdrop of brutal poverty and emotional tumult.”

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

Of Related Interest:
Butterfly Boy
Memories of a Chicano Mariposa
Rigoberto González

Heartbreaking, poetic, and intensely personal, Butterfly Boy is a unique coming out and coming-of-age story of a first-generation Chicano who trades one life for another, only to discover that history and memory are not exchangeable or forgettable.


May 2013
LC: 2012032924 PS
128 pp.   5 x 8  

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Cloth $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-29250-8
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A haunting book, whose many senses linger long after reading it.”
—Mary Cappello, author of Awkward: A Detour

“The compelling story of a life that routinely— necessarily— crosses borders of ethnic, socioeconomic, and sexual identities.”
—Pablo Miguel Martínez, author of Brazos, Carry Me


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Updated 4/8/2014

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