This page contains current news on John Rechy including, new writing, newspaper and magazine articles, reviews and links to other web resources.    


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John Rechy receives UCLA's highest honor. On October 24th, John Rechy was awarded the UCLA Medal after delivering the 2019 Lois E. Matthews Lecture, "Intimate Memories Evoked by Recent Events at the Border". Previous winners include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, philanthropist David Geffen and author Toni Morrison.

Read the article in the UCLA Daily Bruin.

Reports from Academia. Two studies of John Rechy have been published. Maria DeGuzman presents "...a conceptually clear yet aesthetically, philosophically, and socio-politically fine-grained analysis of the spectrum of his writing." in Understanding John Rechy while Michael Bucher presents The Body of Work: John Rechy's Sensual Poetics.
Texas State University has picked up John Rechy's literary papers.

John comments on the significance of Cooper Donuts in the New York Times article on Pivotal L.G.B.T.Q. Moments Across the U.S. as well as an article in Vice.

Los Angeles Magazine features an article/interview with John entitled "Legendary Author John Rechy Recalls L.A.'s Oft-Forgotten Gay Uprising".


John Rechy, a prophet of liberation

Alex Espinoza interviews John Rechy for the Los Angeles Times.


John Rechy's long-lost first novel is finally available. John wrote "Pablo!" in 1948-49 when he was 18 years old. Unpublished, it languished in Special Collections at Boston University until a chance encounter with University of California, Santa Barbara scholar and critic Francisco Lomelí led to the ultimate publication of this long-lost treasure. Visit the publisher's website.

Listen to an interview with John from Houston Public Media.

Technicolor Saints and Celebrated Outlaws: An Interview with John Rechy in the Los Angeles Review of Books.




Lifetime Achievement Award. John Rechy will receive the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement as part of the 2017 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

Best Fiction Nomination for After the Blue Hour from Lambda Literary.

The Windy City Times interviews John Rechy.
Three Questions for John Rechy regarding His Novel “After the Blue Hour.” Daniel Olivas interviews John Rechy for the Los Angeles Review of books.
Los Angeles Review of Books Conversation. Hear John Rechy discuss his life and career with LARB Editor-in-Chief Tom Lutz.
John Rechy discusses the powerful enigma of William Faulkner and the beauty of the unsolved narrative in The Atlantic.
After the Blue Hour
A new novel by John Rechy
"One of the few original American writers of the last century."
Gore Vidal

John Rechy's first novel, City of Night, an international bestseller, is considered a modern classic. Subsequent work asserts his place among America's most important writers. The author's most daring work, After the Blue Hour is narrated by a twenty-four-year-old writer named John Rechy. Fleeing a turbulent life in Los Angeles, he accepts an invitation to a private island from an admirer of his work. There, he joins Paul, his imposing host in his late thirties, his beautiful mistress, and his precocious teenage son. Browsing Paul's library and conversing together on the deck about literature and film during the spell of evening's "blue hour," John feels surcease, until, with unabashed candor, Paul shares intimate details of his life. Through cunning seductive charm, he married and divorced an ambassador's daughter and the heiress to a vast fortune. Avoiding identifying his son's mother, he reveals an affinity for erotic "dangerous games." With intimations of past decadence and menace, an abandoned island nearby arouses tense fascination over the group. As "games" veer toward violence, secrets surface in startling twists and turns. Explosive confrontation becomes inevitable.

Between the Sheets: Sex, Power, and Literary Desire in John Rechy’s “After the Blue Hour”
Read about After the Blue Hour in the Los Angeles Times.
Order now on Amazon.


Honorable Mention. In a review of the new book Arcade, essayist and critic Alex Espinoza discusses the legacy of John's landmark book City of Night.

Scholarly. Beth Hernandez-Jason has posted her dissertation on The Act of Reading John Rechy online. An edited collection of scholarly essays which includes an interview with John published by a press in Spain can be found here. Lastly, here’s a link to the symposium (the first celebration of the 50th anniversary of City of Night) at UC Merced about John’s work in 2013. 

Retyping the Classics. Los Angeles artist Tim Youd has, for the last four years, been retyping great English-language novels one by one in different locations. In June and July he has typed City of Night and Numbers in Hollywood. Click here to read more

David Bowie's Top 100 Books. The sad loss of David Bowie has brought back into circulation his list of the top 100 books which he compiled in 2013. Prominent on that list is John Rechy's City of Night. Click here to view the entire list.

Lifetime Acievement Award! The University of California Riverside and the Los Angeles Review of Books are teaming up to give their first Lifetime Achievement Award to John Rechy. Click here. 

Feature article in Texas Monthly on City of Night turning 50. Click here.

City of Night, most influential gay novel ever, LA Weekly proclaims. Read the entire article.

John Rechy to Receive Prestigious Award. This year’s Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature, presented by UC Santa Barbara, as been awarded to John Rechy. Click here.

City of Night
50th Anniversary Edition

Available Now

Slate's editors pick CITY OF NIGHT as one of the best books of 2013!. Click here. In addition, Slate interviews John Rechy here.

John Rechy's City of Night turns 50. Gregg Barrios writes about the newly reissued edition of City of Night commemerating the 50th anniversary of this landmark novel in the New York Times while David Ulin discussed the book in the Los Angeles Times.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews the 50th Anniversary Edition.

In October 2013, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center presented a program with John Rechy, Héctor Calderón, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic, and John Densmore, The Doors to celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration of 'City of Night'. View the full presentation.

When John Rechy’s explosive first novel appeared in 1963, it marked a radical departure in fiction, and gave voice to a subculture that had never before been revealed with such acuity. It earned comparisons to Genet and Kerouac, even as Rechy was personally attacked by scandalized reviewers. Nevertheless, the book became an international bestseller, and fifty years later, it has become a classic. Bold and inventive in style, Rechy is unflinching in his portrayal of one hustling “youngman” and his search for self-knowledge within the neon-lit world of hustlers, drag queens, and the denizens of their world, as he moves from El Paso to Times Square, from Pershing Square to the French Quarter. Now including never-seen original marked galley pages and an interview with the author, Rechy’s portrait of the edges of America has lost none of its power to move and exhilarate.

Read an excerpt.

DOMA, John Rechy and the land of the free. Read David Ulin's piece in the Los Angeles Times on how John Rechy should be proud of his contribution to the Supreme Court overturning a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, sending Proposition 8 back to a federal district court in California, liberation politics, and the courageous role John has played through his writing and his life to see such changes sweep the country.

Strong Praise. Silver Birch Press praises The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez. Click here.

Feature Review. Ariel Swartley writes about John Rechy and his latest book, About My Life and the Kept Woman, in Los Angeles magazine. Click here.

A Writer Responds. John Rechy responds to David Leavitt's New York Times review of About My Life and the Kept Woman. Click here.

New Interview. John Rechy does an extended interview in the magazine Vice in December 2010. Read it online. Click here.

City of Night, One of Five Most Essential Books in Newsweek. In the April 13th edition of Newsweek magazine, author Richard Price names City of Night highly among his Five Most Essential Books. "Both shocking and suffused with longing," he writes, "a combo that can make an adolescent boy circa 1966 lose his mind."
View in PDF             View as image             View on Newsweek website

A Writer Protests. Read John Rechy's letter to the editor of the New York Times Book Review concerning David Leavitt's review of About My Life and the Kept Woman. While the New York Times published the letter, they omitted the very last line. Read the full letter here, including an elaboration on the last line. Click here.

Reviews of John Rechy's Autobiography. Read the Los Angeles Times review of About My Life and the Kept Woman. Click here. "...color, energy, humor and teeming characters of a Dickens novel..." is how The Dallas Morning News describes John rechy's memoir. Click here. Publishers Weekly calls About My Life and the Kept Woman "...a marvelous autobiography by a writer whose life is as interesting as his fiction." Click here.

John Rechy's Intensified Reality. A feature article on John Rechy and his new book, About My Life and the Kept Woman appears in the Sunday, February 17th Los Angeles Times. Click here to read the article.

About My Life and the Kept Woman. John Rechy's 15th book is now available in bookstores and online. In an advance review, Publisher's Weekly calls About My Life and the Kept Woman "a marvelous autobiography by a writer whose life is as interesting as his fiction." More information on this new book will be appearing soon.

Living with Music in the New York Times. Every Wednesday in the New York Times book blog, “Living With Music,” a writer or other notable book-world figure provides a music playlist. On January 16, John Rechy was featured to discuss thirteen influential pieces of music, from Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel to Maria Ewing's rendition of Salome. Click to visit the New York Times page.

John Rechy MySpace Page. View the fan page dedicated to John Rechy on MySpace. Click here.

"From where do a writer's characters come?" John Rechy asks in his new contribution to these pages. " Who are they, finally?—these wily, shifty creatures, darting in and out of trouble, creatures who cajole, flirt with their author, seduce him, at times challenge him to the point that they run away beyond their creator's intent. " Read the answer that follows in this talk given at the University of Texas at El Paso, where John Rechy received the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award and was later revised for a talk at the Los Angeles Institute of the Humanities. Click here.

Female Actors, Part Two. John Rechy examines how the banishment of the word 'actress' to erase gender identification paradoxically creates an opposite effect in his new essay. Click here.

Honoring A Substantial Artist. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives has honored John Rechy's writing, teaching and activism by making him the first recipient of their ONE Culture Hero Award. According to Gore Vidal: "In retrospect, one of the few original American writers of the last century." At an event in October, ONE celebrated John Rechy's talent, courage, and commitment: "He has lived his life as an outlaw in many arenas– being a Mexican-American, a gay man, a writer living in and celebrating Los Angeles, a teacher of writing (always noting, “Break the rules”), and an LGBT social critic and activist. His writings, particularly his latest work, "Beneath the Skin: The Collected Essays of John Rechy" (2004), depict his unique stance from all of these positions"

In His Own Words. Coming soon to these pages: a collection of interviews with John Rechy that span the years. Watch for further details.

Feeling "...unmanly." Read the unedited letter to Details magazine from John Rechy on The Army's Big, Embarrassing Gay-Porn Scandal. Click here.

Not All is Bright on our Horizon. On June 24, 2006, John Rechy gave a talk at the Adelante Gay Pride Gala in El Paso, Texas, commemorating a thrilling event in the evolution of gay pride--the Stonewall Riot. John Rechy reminds his audience that "...pride and courage were not born at Stonewall...and that not all is bright on our horizon today." Click here.

Interview with John Rechy. Read the recent interview on teaching writing and the publishing world today with John Rechy in Writer's E-Zine. Click here.

Artwork by John Rechy. View two drawings by John Rechy, "Lady of the Evening" and "Salem Alley" on these pages. Click here.

Sexual Liberator or Enslaver? John Rechy examines the work of artist Tom of Finland and certain gay charades of violence celebrated in his drawings in the most recent essay to appear on these pages. Click here.

Lying Writers . Read John Rechy's latest contribution on the fuss about James Frey's purported "memoir" "A Million Little Pieces" and the nature of truth in writing. Click here.

"I'll try 'Hence the Title' for $1200, Alex." In June of 2005, John Rechy's City of Night was the basis of an answer on Jeopardy. Click here to read an account of the event.

On Writing. John Rechy has conducted creative writing courses as guest author at Occidental College and UCLA. He currently teaches in the Masters in Professional Writing Program at USC. He also holds private workshops for professional-level writers. He has lectured on writing and other subjects at Harvard, Yale, and Duke Universities. A new essay on the The Buried Wisdom and Poetry in Time-Honored Clichés now appears on this site. Click here.

Pilgrim Soul Read John-Manuel Andriote's article on John Rechy called "Pilgrim Soul" at the Lambda Literary Foundation. Click here.

A Writer Protests! Over twenty letters of protest from John Rechy to editors and reviewers have now been posted in the Speaking Out section of this web site; new letters will be added periodically. Current material includes correspondence with resulting from the New York Times article about the "glitch" in Canada that revealed the names of "reviewers" who were promised anonymity on Amazon's book sites. Click here for complete table of contents.

New Commentaries by John Rechy are coming soon to these pages. Topics to include: More Rules of Writing, Surreal Reality, The Beauty of Old Cliches, A Writer Protests. Latest submission: The Gay Mammies. Click here for a menu of all current essays.

"Best of the Best" The Los Angeles Times calls "The Life and Adventures of Lyle Clemens" "Best of the Best" and lists it as one of the 10 best works of fiction in 2003!   Click for more details

Forever Kathleen Winsor. John Rechy pays tribute to the overlooked author Kathleen Winsor who died on May 26, 2003. Her novel, "Forever Amber," sold 100,000 copies upon release in 1944 and went on to sell millions. Click here to read the Los Angeles Times article.

Liz Smith, in New York Newsday, muses on "City of Night" as a movie. Click here to read an excerpt from her column.

Jonathan Kirsch in conversation with John Rechy. Listen to an interview with John Rechy by Jonathan Kirsch on KCRW which aired on Wednesday, November 28, 2001. Click here. (Requires RealPlayer).

Biography News: "Outlaw: John Rechy, Vol. 1," a biography of John Rechy  by Charles Casillo is now in bookstores. Click here to read an excerpt. Charles Casillo was recently interviewed on KCRW about his biography. Click here to hear the interview.

New Feature.  John Rechy has conducted creative writing courses as guest author at Occidental College and UCLA. He currently teaches in the Masters in Professional Writing Program at USC and also holds private workshops for professional-level writers. He has lectured on writing and other subjects at Harvard, Yale, and Duke Universities. From time to time, he will contribute short essays on writing. Click here to view the first on the "Terrible Three Rules" that are capable of doing terrible damage to good writing.


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Interview with John Rechy in the July 2000 Genre Magazine. 

"A Writer's Return to the City of Night" Los Angeles Times, September 1, 1999

"The Romantic Egotist" New Times, February 24--March 1, 2000. (Read John Rechy's comments on this article).

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Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review. August 29, 1999
Publisher's Weekly. June 28, 1999. Read it.

Keep this site on your Favorites list. Read more original commentaries by John Rechy...Coming Soon!

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