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...

  • 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....

  • Adrian Brown

    Thomas Page McBee writes beautifully about the struggle of masculinity, having had the unique opportunity to live/see it from both sides. There's a lot about fighting in this book, and while I love to...

  • Raf

    This book blew me away. I read pretty much everything I can find on masculinity and this was a one of a kind read. As a trans man McBee navigates a great deal of his external gender socialization with...

  • Courtney Gillette

    If I’m honest, I have little interest in boxing (and perhaps less so in masculinity as a concept), but Thomas Page McBee is such a talent, I’d follow him anywhere. This is a generous and tender st...

  • Eleanor

    Thomas Page McBee wrote an earlier book, Man Alive, about his transition; this one, Amateur, is about his attempts to learn to box in order to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden. (He di...

  • Booky Nooky

    "Amateur: A True Story About What Makes A Man" is the memoir by Thomas Page McBee in which he explores masculinity through the framework of training for and fighting in a charity boxing match at Madis...

  • Olivia Barrow

    Overall this was an easy read, and I appreciate McBee's honesty and his premise -- evaluating masculinity -- made it an easy impulse-buy for me. But I was disappointed in the conclusions -- or lack th...