Dustin Lance Black wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk and helped overturn California’s anti–gay marriage Proposition 8, but as an LGBTQ activist he has unlikely origins—a conservative Mormon household in Texas. His mother, Anne, contracted polio when she was two years old. She endured brutal surgeries, as well as braces and crutches for life, and was told that she would never have children or a family. This is their story.
...a consummate storyteller, as he demonstrates in this beautifully written, vastly entertaining, and moving memoir ... Black seems incapable of writing a dull word as he evokes his stirring life and times, ultimately inspiring comity by word and example. His book belongs in every library.
As the title implies, the main subjects of Dustin Lance Black’s memoir Mama’s Boy are Black and his mother, Anne. Both have remarkable stories ... Black is very good at depicting the kind of destitution in which the smallest luxuries take on outsized meaning. He writes touchingly of the family’s annual Christmas tradition ... even now, Black’s tender and heartfelt love letter to his remarkable mother is an act of courage and reclamation. It’s a well-deserved tribute.
[A] sometimes overwrought, sometimes luminous memoir ... Black devotes much space to tremulous fretting over his blue-on-red coming-out saga, but the results are not very dramatic ... But the book shines in its portrait of the vibrant, indomitable Anne trudging determinedly over every obstacle, and in intimate scenes of everyday family heartaches and triumphs against the odds.