One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back
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Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black
Like Me) and Barbara Ehrenreich(Nickel and
Dimed), Norah Vincent absorbed a cultural experience and
reported back on what she observed incognito. For more than
a year and a half she ventured into the world as Ned, with
an ever-present five o'clock shadow, a crew cut, wire-rim
glasses, and her own size 11 1/2 shoes--a perfect disguise
that enabled her to observe the world of men as an insider.
The result is a sympathetic, shrewd, and thrilling tour de
force of immersion journalism that's destined to challenge
preconceptions and attract enormous attention.
buddies on the bowling league she enjoyed the rough and
rewarding embrace of male camaraderie undetectable to an
outsider. A stint in a high-octane sales job taught her the
gut-wrenching pressures endured by men who would do
anything to succeed. She frequented sex clubs, dated women
hungry for love but bitter about men, and infiltrated
all-male communities as hermetically sealed as a men's
therapy group, and even a monastery. Narrated in her utterly
captivating prose style and with exquisite insight, humor,
empathy, nuance, and at great personal cost, Norah uses her
intimate firsthand experience to explore the many remarkable
mysteries of gender identity as well as who men are apart
from and in relation to women. Far from becoming bitter or
outraged, Vincent ended her journey astounded--and
exhausted--by the rigid codes and rituals of masculinity.
Having gone where no woman (who wasn't an aspiring or actual
transsexual) has gone for any significant length of time,
let alone eighteen months, Norah Vincent's surprising
account is an enthralling reading experience and a
revelatory piece of anecdotally based gender analysis that
is sure to spark fierce and fascinating conversation.
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