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 Topic: Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey, by Carlos T. Mock

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Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Interests: GLBT activism, literature, and movies
Physical Location: Chicago, IL

Posted: 15 Jul 2004, 4:14 pm    Post subject: Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey, by Carlos T. Mock Reply with quote

Borrowing Time chronicles the coming of age – coming out – story of Juan. The general story vaguely resembles Carlos’ biography but that’s where the similarity stops. A flight of fancy and imagination, this tale follows Juan from grade school sexual investigations through his first gay sexual encounter and on to the possible end of his life.

Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey, by Carlos T. Mock (Floricanto Press, $35) Mock's novel isn't truly self-published: Floricanto Press ( does several books a year, and of several sorts - but doesn't do much more than print them, I imagine; the clunky design and odd paragraph layout work against what is otherwise a rather vivid read - and though an editor from the University of California is credited for work on the book, there are some odd stylistic and grammatical choices. That said, there's not a lot of gay storytelling from the Puerto Rican community, and that's partially the appeal of this heartfelt work, with its roots in Catholic doctrine, macho attitudes, and cultural differences. That's also the filter through which Monk addresses coming out, yearning for love, settling into a relationship, and - most viscerally - living with AIDS. It's probably no accident that Monk's title, Borrowing Time, echoes that of Paul Monette's monumental AIDS memoir, Borrowed Time: both focus on the excitement of living and the struggle to die with dignity.
An author interview:

Richard Labonte From: Books to Watch Out For

"Gay literature is rich in so many areas, yet we still have a great need for strong stories from the world of Latino culture -- about family, about youth, about coming out, about creating adult relationships, about dealing with AIDS. Now, Carlos Mock gives us a strong Puerto Rican story that deals with all these issues."
-- Patricia Nell Warren, author of The Front Runner and The Wild Man

"Whatever your orientation, no matter your ethnicity, you'll never be the same after a journey through this odyssey. A vivid and visceral portrayal of a sexual and political coming-of-age in today's America--and beyond."

Laura S. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor, DePaul University and Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times

This is an uncommon coming of age and coming out book, not just because it is written from a Puerto Rican in "El Norte" perspective, but because of the wonderful magical realism that finds its way into certain events. It is a fictional memoir of a man with HIV, but the descriptions of the seminal events of life could have happened to any of us. I found the descriptions of certain men, events and emotions all to familiar to me, and I am superficially rather different. The moments of childhood discover, adolescent change and adult knowledge are wonderfully described. The wonderful physical descriptions of men and women hint at the soul within. The language reflects both the speech of the protagonist and the mental state, both analytical physician and heavily drugged patient

Robert C. La Mont from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

I could not put this book down. Honestly this is the one of the best books I have ever read. I really LOVE how it began with the history of Puerto Rico. I know many Puerto Ricans who don't know this history or true politics of the isla. Born and raised here Chicago I didn't even learn about our history until I was in my late 20's. I Thank the author for his honesty, for sharing his fears and for sharing his life. I saw some (ok a lot) of myself in his words. Growing up in a Chicago, in a Puerto Rican family and culture, things are just as they were for you growing up in Puerto Rico. This wasn't just a book about the GLBT community this is about what many of us go through in life. Our many fears and struggles of life. I LOVED the book and HIGHLY recommend it.

Edward Negron from Chicago, IL USA

I was unable to put the book down! The author captured my youth, my fears, my shame, my guilt. As a Puerto Rican, I relived growing up in the Island knowing I was different. I relived leaving the Island to find myself, and finally, coming back to the Island transformed into my new self and not fitting in. Like the author, I have found peace with who I am. I thank him for his wonderful book.

Jose from Kansas City.

Carlos T. Mock, MD - Short biography:

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to a middle class family. Grew up in the San Francisco/Santa María suburb of San Juan and attended Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola prep school where upon graduation escaped to The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Then proceeded to attend the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan where he obtained a Doctor in Medicine degree in 1980.

After an internship in New Orleans and a four-year obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago he went to work in the private practice in the Chicago suburbs until 1996.

Currently shares life between Chicago and Kansas City with his life partner, Bill Rattan, their dogs Mellow and Mocha and their cat Electra. Very active in the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender) community in both cities, maintains a travel website at:
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Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 2
Interests: GLBT activism, literature, and movies
Physical Location: Chicago, IL

Posted: 9 Oct 2004, 4:27 pm    Post subject: American Library Review for Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Reply with quote

Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey. By Carlos T.
Mock. Floricanto Press, Mountain View, CA, 2003. 288
pp.$35.00 hardback (ISBN 0-915745-54-2)

Carlos Mock has written a book that tells a sweeping
story of life. It stands out from other stories in
current gay literature because the tale is told from
the standpoint of a Latino man, growing up in a strong
Catholic family in Puerto Rico, a view not seen often
in GLBT literature up until now. Floricanto Press, a
publisher of digital products and Latino, Chicano,
Mexican American, and Hispanic books, sought to reach
out to a market they felt was not covered well. It is
well past time for such a book, and Mock has a well
told story, that examines life from this perspective.

It some ways “Borrowing Time” fits the Magical Realism
of García-Marquez. Mock has bent and turned the story
of his own life into a fictional piece worthy of the
allusion to Paul Monette in the title. The main
character is struggling to understand his life in the
face of his diagnosis with HIV. He is also struggling,
in the stories he tells, with coming to terms with
being gay, his family’s rejection, a Catholic
upbringing on the island, and a friendship that goes
sour. It really is a story for all people to read and
one that will be important for young Latinos coming to
terms with their identity.

Reviewed by Steve Stratton, Cal State-Channel Islands.
Copyrighted material. Reprinted from the American
Library Association’s GLBTRT Fall 2004 Newsletter by permission.
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