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Marrying the memoir and essay forms while exploring desire, Prince, and racism, Hilton Als’s My Pinup expands and delivers love

In this brilliant two-part memoir, the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Hilton Als distills into one cocktail the deep and potent complexities of love and of loss, of Prince and of power, of desire and of race. It’s delicious and it’s got the kick of a mule, especially as Als swirls into his mix the downtown queer nightclub scene, the AIDS crisis, Prince’s ass in his tight little pants, an ill-fated peach pie, Dorothy Parker, and his desire for true love. Always surprising and stealthily―even painfully―moving, Als plumbs longing: “I inched closer to him as he danced to you, Prince. But already he was you, Prince, in my mind. He had the same coloring, and the same loneliness I wanted to fill with my admiration. I couldn’t love him enough. We were colored boys together. There is not enough of that in the world, Prince―but you know that. Still, when other people see that kind of fraternity they want to kill it. But we were so committed to each other, we never could work out what that violence meant. There was so much love between us. Why didn’t anyone want us to share it?”


The Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als has been hailed as “exhilarating and audacious” (San Francisco Chronicle), “spectacular” (Bookforum), and “thoroughly wise” (Library Journal).  He is a staff writer at The New Yorker and an Associate Professor at Columbia University's School of the Arts. He lives in New York City.


  • Publisher: New Directions (November 1, 2022)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0811234495
  • ISBN-13: 9780811234498
  • Item Weight: 1.11 pounds


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