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Descripción de editorial
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction
In this groundbreaking new book, Thomas Page McBee, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence.
Through his experience of boxing – learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body – McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes and the limitations of conventional masculinity. A wide-ranging exploration of gender in our society, Amateur is ultimately a story of hope, as McBee traces a way forward: a new masculinity, inside the ring and out of it.
A graceful and uncompromising exploration of living, fighting and healing, in Amateur we gain insight into the stereotypes and shifting realities of masculinity today through the eyes of a new man.
In November 2015, McBee (Man Alive) became the first transgender man to fight a boxing match in Madison Square Garden, and this powerful book chronicles his training and his attempts at understanding why violence is accepted as an aspect of American masculinity. The book unfolds as a series of connected essays that explore masculinity in America, each spun from McBee's experience training at boxing gyms around Manhattan in the five months leading up to the match. There are glimpses into the early stages of his transition, and a motif about being afraid of men all his life including as a man, a fear he puts to rest by learning to box. McBee also writes about his current life as a man ("I was still adjusting to... the ease with which my ideas were often executed, the ways my expertise was assumed before I'd proven it") and his own definition of manhood that allows men to be vulnerable, tender, and unafraid of failure, help, shame, or pain. McBee's lyrical, achingly honest exploration of loss and maturation offers a hopeful antidote to more toxic forms of masculinity.