Alex Gilvarry‘s debut novel, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant? tells the tale of a flamboyant Filipino fashionista named Boy. Sound familiar?
“Fashion terrorist” Boyet Hernandez is living the glamorous life as a young designer on the rise in Williamsburg. In his “size 30 skinny jeans” and his hair ?€?classically fashioned after the major hip-hop artists of the 1980s,?€? Boy becomes enmeshed with the photographers, stylists, models et al that make up that “incestuous machine with one purpose: to create beauty.?€?
The glamorous life loses a bit of its luster after Boy is mistaken for a terrorist and is imprisoned at Guant??namo? Bay. There, his efforts to stay au courant? – including making some much-needed alterations to his standard-issue orange jumpsuit — make him an easy target of the guards as well as his fellow prisoners. While imprisoned, however, Boy writes his memoirs on the Philippines and the Williamsburg fashion scene.
?€?My initial idea was to write about an artist from a superficial world thrown into a political world,?€? Gilvarry told The New York Times. ?€?That?€™s how I came up with Boy.?€? Only later did the author, who is half-Filipino himself, realize that his character bore a striking resemblance to blogger-cum-businesswoman,? Bryanboy. Which is totally believable considering that Bryanboy would never be caught dead in a “size 30″ anything.? [NYT]