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What Makes a Man Paperback – Bargain Price, February 1, 2005
"Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)" by David Sedaris
In one of the most anticipated books of 2017, David Sedaris tells a story that is, literally, a lifetime in the making. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
In this literate essay collection, Walker (Black, White and Jewish) brings together male and female writers to ponder the male figure in its various poses: ill, robust, young, aged, confident, emotionally spent. The result is a book that portrays masculinity as a fluid mosaic, giving added resonance to contributor Caitríona Reeds claim that "the Navajo have at least forty-nine gender designations." Elsewhere humor writer Bruce Stockler, in "No Means No," uses agile diction to portray the frenetic schedule and social stigma attached to being a stay-at-home dadfor four children, including triplets. And Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, in an essay that uses narrative twists to surprise readers with thoughtful analysis, ambivalently describes Ghana, a country where men link pinkies while chatting in bars because Ghanaian society accepts the display of physical affection between male friends. Almost half of the writers are African American (two others are gay men), and a recurring theme involves the shedding of machismo associated with that culture. Most of the essays are well craftedan exception being Michael Moores hollow rant "The End of Men"and a number of them chronicle a personal transformation from a limited view of masculinity to one imbued with nuance and so-called femininity. These awakenings are sometimes cloying and may make readers yearn for a defense of the red-blooded manwhich theyll glimpse in the excerpt from Anthony Swoffords acclaimed Gulf War memoir Jarhead. But overall the anecdotes and insights will keep readers engaged, even if they cast only occasional light on an imagined future.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Walker, author of the memoir Black, White, and Jewish (2000), has put together a timely and profound anthology. One wonders what changes could occur in our society if such texts were read and openly and sensitively discussed among boys and girls who are on the verge of entering the limiting spaces we call "manhood" and "womanhood." Walker's introductory essay offers poignant and insightful observations about our reactions as parents, children, and peers to the process of becoming a "man." Other striking pieces include a mother's questions about her three-year-old son's insistence that he's a girl; a man's reflections on his childhood and the experiences, role models, and expectations that shaped him; a privileged young black man's life of trying to fit in while remaining true to his belief in peace over violence; and a transsexual's search for self beyond stereotype. Walker has done society at large a great service by bringing forth these voices, these views. Now if only society will listen. Janet St. John
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I as a gay male found this book to be the most helpful and amazing thing I read; It helped me come to terms and use the fact that I don't fit social norms to my advantage. The fact that I am not a flamboyant feminine stereotype or a basic overly masculine stereotype makes me realize i can see both sides of the personality spectrum and understand where both are coming from, and help me from pretending to be either side to be happy with myself or others.
So if you are considering purchasing this book I highly recommend it with the highest recommendation a person can have. This book with change how you see things I promise you; if not of how you see yourself then at least of how you see others.
Here are a few questions for you. What does it mean to be a male? What exactly is required of our men and is it fair what we demand from them? How do they feel about the role they are made to take? These are some of the questions addressed in this work, and the responses may surprise you.
In these essays you will find heart felt stories and honest raw emotions set before you. Perhaps for the first time you will understand the true heart of a man as he struggles to find his own identity, which is often suppressed by what he feels he should be, but is not. Or longs to be, but is not given the liberty to pursue his hearts desire. Very sad.
I found this work to be very refreshing and certainly made me stop and re-think of the pre-conceived ideas that have been handed down to me concerning the place men should have in our society. The essays kept my interest as I could feel through the words that were penned a true heart cry of the writer for others to understand the turmoil that they were experiencing.
This work is truly one that would benefit all in bringing us more understanding of fears unspoken, goals not able to be achieved and dreams unfulfilled from those who have played the role for so long, men.
Still, the good essays gave me an insight into a man's place in contemporary society. It made me realize the effects gender roles have on people. As men, we're expected to be the hunters and climb the corporate ladder. The essay by the stay at home dad was very telling in the reactions he got from others. The first essay, about a husband's gift of a one year sabbatical to wife in order for her to write her novel also showed how marriages can fall apart and then come together.
It's decent reading, but not something I would recommend buying if you're looking for a totally insightful collection about the inner lives of men.
These writers share their thoughts, fears, vulnerabilities and I am a more compassionate, generous, open-minded man for it. Thank you Rebecca Walker.