Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man

In Man Alive, McBee asks, What does it really mean to be a man by focusing on two of the most impactful men in his life the father who abused him as a child, and a mugger who threatened his life and then released him in an odd moment of mercy Standing at the brink of the life changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these fallenIn Man Alive, McBee asks, What does it really mean to be a man by focusing on two of the most impactful men in his life the father who abused him as a child, and a mugger who threatened his life and then released him in an odd moment of mercy Standing at the brink of the life changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these fallen icons of manhood as he cobbles together his own identity.Man Alive engages an extraordinary personal story to tell a universal one how we all struggle to create ourselves, and how this struggle often requires risks Far from a titillating, transgender tell all, Man Alive grapples with questions of legacy and forgiveness, love and violence, agency and invisibility Written with the grace of a poet and the intensity of a thriller, McBee s story will haunt and inspire.
Man Alive A True Story of Violence Forgiveness and Becoming a Man In Man Alive McBee asks What does it really mean to be a man by focusing on two of the most impactful men in his life the father who abused him as a child and a mugger who threatened his life and t

  • Title: Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man
  • Author: Thomas Page McBee
  • ISBN: 9780872866249
  • Page: 156
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man”

    1. This book is so, so good.If I had to say what it's about, I'd say that it's about childhood sexual abuse, a gunpoint mugging as an adult, and how these two experiences informed McBee's understanding of what it means to become a man. That would be a simplification, of course, but I know that sometimes when you read these reviews you want to get some idea of what the book deals with.I had lots of feelings as I read Man Alive, but the main one was awe at the author's bravery in writing about these [...]

    2. A well-written book and an easy read, but I think I was looking for more out of it. It does a good job of describing McBee's personal journey to becoming a man, and the punchline (not really a spoiler) is that you have to be your own man. But I was hoping that someone who has to make the transition to manhood as an adult and from an entirely different perspective might have some insights into what it really means to be a man in our society: what the expectations are, how we respond to them, how [...]

    3. Thomas Page McBee’s account of his decision to move from passing to full female-to-male transition is testament to how a personal story can be told simply but with huge power and heart. It isn’t an easy story to read, I can’t imagine how it was to live, as McBee explains his childhood abuse at the hands of his father and his struggle to come to terms with the potential relationship between this abuse and the development of his gender identity. Because at the heart of this story is the ques [...]

    4. I've read a number of books and stories by trans women of late and it's great to finally read something more from the trans male side of the coin (shout out to Dylan Edwards and his wonderful 2012 book of comics from Northwest Press called Transposes). McBee is a tremendously talented writer (hard to believe he's only in his early 30's) and this memoir is a haunting and moving piece of work. Highly recommended; when I finished it I was near tears.

    5. If you've been in my vicinity for this past week or so, you've heard me go on and on about this book. Gripping, poignant, heartbreaking and so so so well-written and perfect. This guy is gonna be huge.

    6. Excerpted from my review for Lambda Literary: "Thomas Page McBee’s "Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man" is not a memoir—though, in all likelihood, it will often be characterized as such, in a testament to both the limits of cultural understandings of nonfiction and of transgender storytelling. In reality, "Man Alive" is a gem of creative nonfiction, and an excellent example of what distinguishes that often nebulous genre. As Lee Gutkind, one of the explicator [...]

    7. I reread this for class (I'm teaching it alongside Kai Cheng Thom's Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars in my Trans Studies class) -- it's an intense read, addressing McBee's confrontation with his history of childhood trauma as a kind of final stage that he needed to get through before entering into masculinity and new selfhood. On second read, found some of the themes repetitive and a little too tidily resolved -- though still appreciate so much, especially the questions that are asked--about (g [...]

    8. This review was originally published in the Media: fvckthemedia/issue46/rWhen I first met Thomas Page McBee in 2012, he was working at the now-defunct alt-weekly The Boston Phoenix. McBee was working to make queerness more visible at the publication – not just white, upper middle class gays concerned first and foremost with marriage, but lesser told stories of people who are less often heard. Not because the stories aren’t there, but because they are largely ignored. McBee was the first pers [...]

    9. Absolutely one of the best books I've read this year - the memoir of a trans man coming to terms with violence and identity. Novelistic in its layered themes, with the pacing of a thriller. A work of radical empathy.I feel lucky to have read this book.

    10. God DAMN, is this a good book. I'd even venture to say it's a great book. The subject (parts of this man's life- it's memoir-ish, McBee's authors note says "This is a work of nonfiction, but it relies on memory and, as such, its attendant illusions, specters, and plays of light. It is the truth as I've lived it. Many names have been changed") is interesting in itself, but the prose is was makes it great. While reading, I kept having to remind myself that it was nonfiction, I kept feeling it was [...]

    11. "Man Alive: A True Story of Violence" author/columnist Thomas McBee, recalled his life from childhood on, revealing his impassioned story in short chapters from past to present. He discussed how child abuse, parental betrayal, a violent street mugging impacted his life, and importantly how he chose not to be defined by trauma. McBee wrote with tremendous integrity and compassion of his views on modern masculinity, his relationships with family members, others, also his partner, Parker.To come to [...]

    12. This was great. Incredibly evocative and moving. Some of my favorite lines:"I kept my head down, a flush inexplicably spreading up my neck, the frightening, lovely feeling of being seen, the discomforting sense of its fragility, the way I was not myself, not at all.""I watched her move liquidly back to the chili; her body a whole that functioned together, not like my collection of jangly parts.""It seemed possible to me, in the dry heat of that courtroom, that heaven was a metaphor for the grace [...]

    13. What struck me most about this book was how remarkably brave and honest the author is. I'm grateful Thomas allowed us to see this journey from his perspective, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    14. A trans man writing about his transition (among other things), McBee is in a unique position to look at how gender forms us. However this is not a dry sociological study but a memoir that meditates on masculinity and family. It's great to see a story of this kind with a hopeful ending, that does not feel exploitative or sensationalist. The only objection I had was that the writing style felt like an affectation. It is very thoughtfully written, but in most chapters small events or moments are as [...]

    15. A deeply personal memoir describing one man's journey to discover what it means to be a man. Thomas Page McBee is a trans man who has written an honest, emotional, and oftentimes necessarily uncomfortable account. Through memories of child abuse and adult violence, Thomas talks with empathy and compassion about how he faced the journey for the truth of who he was and where he fitted into his family and the world.This memoir is beautifully written, with even the most harrowing events told with a [...]

    16. "being a man" presents a multitude of perspectives and forces bearing down on those that would define themselves so.It has a familial basis, a military basis, a religious basis, a social basis, a personal basis and on that carries responsibilities and embodies celebrations and transitions.For cis, trans, gay, straight, bid asexual men navigating expectations and personal interpretations is a life's journey, presenting risks and insecurities in assimilation.Anyone can declare what it is to be a m [...]

    17. This book was fantastic. It was raw and real and I can tell Thomas didn't hold back on sharing any of his true feelings. He didn't sugarcoat anything. He was honest and allowed the reader to feel his fears, his joys, his confusion, his pain, his healing, all right along side him. I always wondered, if I were to write a memoir would I be unable to be so honest due to fear that family might read what I never wanted them to know? I wonder if Thomas worried about this. If he did, I commend him for a [...]

    18. I really wanted to like this book, especially after hearing/reading about all of the buzz surrounding it. Unfortunately, it wasn't a page turner for me. I was really looking forward to learning about his transition journey from a woman to man, but there was very little substance about that. I also had a hard time following what was happening in the book. The literary style in this book was definitely different, but not my cup of tea. He didn't connect the dots as well as I would have liked betwe [...]

    19. I picked up this book because of the look and feel (it's really a great texture) of the cover, knowing nothing of what to expect. Pretty sure it was the dismembered body parts that intrigued me. The story that unfolded was not what I expected. McBee tells his own story in a very simple, easy-to-read way, but it is a very human story rich with emotion.I'd have given this an additional half star were it an option.

    20. I read this having heard the author talking on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week. It raises lots of great questions about gender and identity and not just ones about being trans. It's doesn't focus on the physical aspects of changing gender except in how you are perceived by others while making the transition which is one of the strengths of the book. It makes me want to know more of the author's story and what's happened since.

    21. Hands down, one of the best books I've read. Flows very nicely, read just about in one setting (one night and one morning). Reads like poetry. Would recommend and read again.

    22. Beautiful writing, wrenching story at times. A superb addition to the limited canon of writings by transgender men.

    23. Absolutely fantastic. Go read it! Would make a great companion novel for The Will to Change, by bell hooks.

    24. The reconciling of masculinity as a coming-of-age is a common enough trope, McBee adds a fascinating twist by choosing to become a man. Reconciling your true gender is fraught enough, the whole, poor prospects and having to completely change not just yourself but also reconcile everyone around you with the change. McBee explores what it's like to add in a considered and real exploration of what masculinity could look like when all your close role models are lacking. This is a important addition [...]

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