Dublin Galyean, former LAUSD English teacher, has published his first novel, Bougainvillea Blues. Galyean, born in east Texas, grew up in San Diego, CA and uses both settings for this coming of age story. After graduating from UCSD in biology, he took a short stab at an acting career that led to performing as a teacher of ESL (English as a Second Language) and then to teaching literature analysis at adult schools, mostly to eager immigrant students. After reading Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, years of journal writing translated into what would become Bougainvillea Blues. In 2007, he earned an M.A. in English from CSULA for a much shorter version. He now lives in the sprawl of Los Angeles with his wife and an enormous pepper tree.
Synopsis: Just before facing a secret that will stun the family, Joey’s world collides with the gorgeous Gloria. In the breezy warm air of 1960’s San Diego, with rock and roll in the background, the boy who likes to watch from a distance is forced to make the first grownup decisions of his life.
Bougainvillea Blues captures an America that had not yet begun to face the Vietnam anti-war movement in full force, before Camelot died with the assassination of John Kennedy, six years before Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot down, and just months before the cold war reached its terrifying apex in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then a sheltered white middle class boy could still believe that his most important job was to find a girl. Rock and roll told him what to expect from sexual love, and TV sitcoms showed him how mothers and fathers were supposed to act in happy families.
Bougainvillea Blues is the heartfelt coming of age story of Joey Norton, a twelve-year-old boy. Sex, love, and voyeurism: Joey is trying to figure it all out. When his world collides with the gorgeous Gloria, the boy who likes to watch is forced to participate in his own life for the first time.
A smothering mother, neighborhood boys with their own code of sexuality, and a father with secrets that will stun the family and force Joey to make the first grown-up decisions of his life turn up the heat on a story of love and loss see in the breezy, warm air of 1960’s San Diego.