- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: McSweeney's; First Trade Paper Edition edition (November 26, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1938073754
- ISBN-13: 978-1938073755
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Real Man Adventures Paperback – November 26, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
T Cooper (The Beaufort Diaries) used to be a woman. Now he's a man. If we were all comfortable with that, we'd be done. But we're not; there are people who respond violently when they discover that someone doesn't meet their standards of manliness. Cooper knows the essential truth that the foremost thing on people's minds when confronted with a transgender man is his dick, and addresses these facts (salient, but not dispositive), along with others, in a variety of registers—humorous, angry, resigned, fearful, accepting, worried, matter of fact. This variety—one of the book's strengths—extends to the book's contents, which include interviews, telling six-word autobiographies, letters, and longer memoirlike segments. For those seeking a more standard account of a transperson's journey, the book may disappoint, but Cooper's free-form story, including pieces of his process, paeans to his wife and kids, what it's like to be a member of the Man Club, and what he most fears, is humorous, surprising, and heartfelt. Spoiler alert: he finesses that most pressing question, pushing the reader to consider their prurience and conceptualization of gender around a key but limited set of body parts. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Cooper is a female-to-male transgender, and this is his story. Most readers will regard it as a memoir, but the author feels that’s only partially correct, for, as he writes, “This isn’t a memoir. It’s a mostly nonfiction book on the subject of masculinity with some biographical elements.” That said, readers certainly get to know Cooper and the condition of being transgender. His narrative strategy is one part exposition followed by a whole mélange of other forms and formats, featuring interviews, lists, letters, essays, and more, including far too many distracting footnotes. Aside from that, the variety of forms is a lively way of advancing the story as Cooper (who is also a novelist) makes his case that “sexual identity and gender identity are entirely different (though of course not completely unrelated).” As for what he calls “the trans thing,” he argues that most people’s brains aren’t yet wired to fully understand it. If that’s so, his welcome book will go a long way toward making the necessary connections. --Michael Cart --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
Although I didn't love the second half of this non-fiction book, I do look forward to seeing whatever fiction T Cooper publishes.