Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man

Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man

From an award-winning writer whose work bristles with “hard-won strength, insight, agility, and love” (Maggie Nelson), an exquisite and troubling narrative of masculinity, violence, and society.

In this groundbreaking new book, the author, 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 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 new way forward, a new kind of masculinity, inside the ring and outside of it.

In this graceful, stunning, and uncompromising exploration of living, fighting, and healing, we gain insight into the stereotypes and shifting realities of masculinity today through the eyes of a new man.

Title:Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781501168741
Format Type:

About Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee’s Lambda award-winning memoir, Man Alive, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His “refreshing [and] radical” (The Guardian) new book, Amateur, a reported memoir about learning how to box in order to understand masculinity’s tie to violence, was published in August to wide acclaim.


    Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man Reviews

  • Rebecca

    Thomas Page McBee was the first transgender man to box at Madison Square Garden. In his second memoir, which arose from a Quartz article entitled “Why Men Fight,” he recounts the training leading ...

  • Caden

    I have asked myself questions about what masculinity is countless times; I think Thomas was the first to give me an answer I was satisfied with. As a trans guy interested in better understanding mysel...

  • Rebecca

    Maggie Nelson said that this book was like "sitting with someone uncurling his hands, than holding them out to you, open, so that you can behold all the hard-won strength, insight, agility and love to...

  • Austen

    I'm so thankful for the way McBee put into words so much of what I've often felt about masculinity. I don't know if I've ever felt as seen as I did reading this book. This is an important read, not ju...

  • Julia

    Listened to this as an audiobook read by the author. Beautifully written and very poetic story of the author’s journey training to take part in a charity boxing match in Madison Square Gardens as a ...

  • Libby

    Wow. This might be my new favorite book. What a powerful read. To think about what it's like to be a man when you know first-hand how the world feels for women... incredible. Truly incredible....

  • Eli

    Eh. It was particularly interesting to read this immediately following reading Janet Mock’s newest memoir, which I devoured in less than 24 hours. This one I had to take breaks from and come back to...

  • Ryan

    “I thought about being a white man in America. I thought about my pay raises, the assumptions of competency, the sudden freedom to walk alone at night, the way my body has transitioned from threaten...

  • Jos

    I read this book because I wanted an answer to a question that I've been asking myself for a very long time: what it means to be a man. Of course, actually answering that question is probably impossib...

  • Marcus Perry

    What is masculinity? Is it static or is it fluid? Does it have to be violent or can it find strength in being tender? Thomas Page McBee explores masculinity, both its negatives and possible positives,...