John Rechy is a first generation Mexican American novelist who was born in El Paso, Texas. He came to world attention in 1963 with the publication of his first novel, City of Night, which revealed the previously unknown world of gay hustling and immediately became a best seller and an American classic.
It is a novel about America. It is a novel about loneliness, about love and the ceaseless, furtive search for love, a wistful, moving, ultimately very sad account of a young man's erratic journey through the now-vanished Homosexual subculture of America's cities in the late 1950's, early 1960's.
The narrator, a masculine hustler, moves from city to city, searching for business, and also, futilely, a sense of self-worth and love. He actively avoids the lives and world of the self-admitted and well-adjusted gay men he encounters, and instead pursues the outcasts, the maladjusted and self-loathing men with homosexual desires who make up his clientele.
Finding it difficult to believe that someone so young who knew that world so intimately could possibly be such a brilliant writer, many critics at first speculated that the book must have been written by an established writer under a pseudonym - perhaps James Baldwin or Tennessee Williams. The book had a profound influence on many other artists, including Jim Morrison and David Bowie.
City of Night, 1963.
This Day's Death, 1969.
The Vampires, 1971.
The Fourth Angel, 1973.
The Sexual Outlaw, 1977.
Bodies and Souls, 1983.
Marilyn's Daughter, 1988.
The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez, 1991.
Our Lady of Babylon, 1996.
The Coming of the Night, 1998.
Momma As She Became - Not As She Was, 1968.
Tigers Wild, 1986.
tone rings absolutely true, is absolutely his own, and he has the
kind of discipline which allows him a rare and beautiful
recklessness....He tells the truth, and tells it with such
passion that we are forced to share in the life he conveys. It is
the most humbling and liberating experience."
- James Baldwin
"City of Night' is one of the major books to be published since World War II." - The Washington Post
". . . a remarkable book that has the unmistakable ring of candor and truth." - New York Times Book Review
"Probably no first novel is so complete, so well held together, and so important as 'City of Night."- The Houston Post
"City of Night is one of the most remarkable novels to appear in years . . . eloquent, convincing, basically unsparing . . . it illuminates, it stirs the heart, it is unforgettable."- Herbert Gold
"John Rechy shows great comic and tragic talent." - Christopher Isherwood