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I Want My Foreskin for Giftmas Hardcover – April 22, 2005
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Brilliant, It's a PERFECT coffee table book -- at least in my house! --Marilyn Milos, 1/28/05
I believe it (Giftmas) also will become a strong symbolic landmark in the movement. --Maurene White 2/6/05
Thank you so much for your insight and skills. --Jody McLaughlin 3/4/05
About the Author
Schutt, a New Jersey resident who has a monthly column about circumcision for menstuff.org, first discovered that not all penises were circumcised during a college semester spent in Italy. It was this realization that plunged him into educational overload about the futility of genital mutilation and, eventually, led him to create I Want My Foreskin For Giftmas.
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The artist and author, Carl Schutt, combines art, craft, and folk art to create a book full of humor and social commentary about why we (Americans) insist on a surgical procedure that most pediatricians agree is painful and wholly unnecessary, i.e. circumcision.
The author creates a tone that is at one moment analytically irreverent about the outmoded Judeo-Christian holdover and in the next moment cloaks himself by assuming the voice of a forlorn, foreskinless child who wonders what it would be like to be whole again. The book's searching and fearless inspection brings into the fray parents, God, and yes...even Santa! No stone is unturned.
The author/artist is an iconoclast who finds a way to smartly broach a subject that could stand to be reexamined even though it remains, for the most part, unchallenged. Who can think of a topic so taboo that its first mention at a party full of urban hipsters would result in a choking halt in conversation?
Implicitly under attack is that uptight male machismo that says, "I'm cut and there's nothing wrong with me!" Well, what if instead of there being "nothing wrong" we could all strive for an ideal and, well, be intact and unmodified? Carl Schutt exclaims that circumcision is the male body image crisis equivalent to that of a middle-aged Orange County woman retooled by countless touches of the plastic surgeon's knife; and yet it's a body image crisis that our culture artificially creates, propagates, and hoists upon boys who are only days old. What if this should be changed? What if this could be changed? It's this sort of idealism and visionary spirit that makes this creation refreshing.
Visually the book appears to have been constructed from a million shavings of felt, paper, cardboard, and other banal materials; these common media are brought together by a hand fraught with an almost maniacal need for precision, energy, and speed.
"Foreskin for Giftmas" is the ultimate gift for enlightened parents-to-be, for people who are initiates in the "zine" culture, or anyone who appreciates a clever creation like this that pushes the edge of human understanding.
I noticed all the other reviews are about the message - but its just a fun book to read, and see the great illustrations.
My only negative remark is that the font is difficult to read, even when you start to get used to the shapes of the letters.
Not only is it vibrant and entertaining, 'Giftmas' addresses a very relevant issue with just the right attitude. I haven't found anything else quite like it.