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Becoming A Man: Half a Life Story Paperback – 19 May 1994
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A profound tale, wrenching as it is life-affirming, poetic as it is uncompromisingly real. (VILLAGE VOICE)
A daring and heartbreaking memoir. (BOSTON GLOBE)
Affirmative and ultimately celebratory. (NEW YORK TIMES)
Everyone can learn about courage and self-discovery from BECOMING A MAN. (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE)
Searingly honest and lyrically beautiful...an unforgettable account of growing up gay in America. (Esquire)
About the Author
Paul Monette was the author of six novels and three colections of poems. Becoming a Man was the 1992 National Book Award for non-fiction. He died in February 1995.
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This is the story of his life up until that moment, filled with honest stories and no apology recollections. For anyone that has ever doubted whether it's worth it, this book is a must. If only for that brief moment at a party that changes the rest of your life, your past was definately worth it.
Read this book!
PS The boy on the cover is dead cute! :)
It is extremely difficult to read BECOMING A MAN without sharing the sense of fury and bitterness that Monette felt when he contemplates his life, and if ever there were an argument in favor of sexual honesty, this is it: the language, an artful mix of the literary and the hardbitten, is remarkable, and Monette pulls no punches when it comes to detailing the fear that drove him. Truly, the book deserves every accolade heaped upon it.
All the same, it is a remarkably disingenuous memoir. Even as Monette displays a justifiable loathing for the social institutions that buried him alive for some three decades, he tends to disregard a basic point: he was in many ways a remarkably privileged individual who actually fed upon those same institutions, having a host of opportunities that few people--gay or straight--ever have. It was his own determination to place social advantage above personal integrity that led to his decision to remain in the closet in the first place.
True, Monette (who died of AIDS not long after this book was published) was born and came of age in an era that had little tolerance for anything beyond the status quo. But Monette presents being in the closet as something forced upon him by external forces--and this is not strictly true. There was a choice, and bitter though it was for him and the many others who made it, being in the closet was actually the path of least resistance at the time. To pretend that it was otherwise does a tremendous disservice to those of Monette's generation who found the courage to select an even more difficult road of sexual honesty.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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