Becoming a Man by Paul Monette
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Becoming a Man
By Paul Monette

Becoming a Man

Half a Life Story

By (author) See other recent books by Paul Monette
Format: Paperback

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Becoming a Man by Paul Monette

Book Awards

  • Winner of United States National Book Awards: Nonfiction 1992.

Book Description

He grew up in a small town in New England in the 1950's, watching lassie, going to church, getting straight A's at school, a scholar destined for success. But he already had a secret, and his public life with family and friends was already a constant round of ventriloquism as he played the joker and pretended to be the same as everyone else. For Paul Monette was gay. BECOMING A MAN is about growing up gay, and about the tyranny and self denial of the closet - one man's struggle, for half his life, to come out. From the white-bread 1950's through the rebellious 1960's to the self-creating 1970's and beyond, it forms a passionately honest and unsparing account of the tortures of living a lie, a naked protrait of one man's fight for freedom in a time of ignorance and bigotry.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780349105499
ISBN-10: 0349105499
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 19mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Abacus
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 19-May-1994
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Paul Monette

Last Watch of the Night by Paul Monette Last Watch of the Night, Paperback (December 1998)

This collection of essays constitutes the third volume of National Book Award winner Paul Monette's autobiographical writings. Among the pieces featured are Monette's portrait of his dog as they endure loss together, an atheist's appreciation of the saintliness of a priest, and a rumination on what it's like to be gay and lesbian today.

Borrowed Time by Paul Monette Borrowed Time, Paperback / softback (June 1998)

The first personal documentary about AIDS to be published, "Borrowed Time" remains as vividly detailed as the best novel and as lucidly observed as the fiercest journalism.

» View all books by Paul Monette


US Kirkus Review » From "the cauldron of the plague" comes a bitter memoir by the author of Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) and six novels (Halfway Home, 1991, etc.). "Twisted up with rage," Monette is urgent to tell his story: "the fevers are on me now, the virus mad to ravage my last hundred T cells." He begins with his straight-A childhood, darkened by his brother being crippled by spina bifida. But the source of Monette's fury comes from growing up in "the coffin world of the closet," losing a "decade of being dead below the belt," and now finding himself a victim of what he calls "the genocide by indifference that has buried alive a generation of my brothers." Clearly, Monette wants to berate and shock this "Puritan sinkhole of a culture" with crude language ("Roger was up to his tits in therapy" is a printable example) and explicit accounts of his homosexual encounters, starting as a nine-year-old. After describing a one-night stand, he mockingly asks, "Is this more than you want to know?' and then explains that a late lover advised, "rub their faces in it." Monette does. Later, he writes, "I was so sick of hearing myself talk about sexuality - hetero, homo, and otherwise." But despite the pose of no-holds-barred honesty, the author's diatribe offers only a predictable view of his elite schools (Andover and Yale) and little on gender theory beyond the statement that "gay is a kind of sensibility." The offhand prose veers from the flip ("I try not to be gayer-than-thou about bi") to the melodramatic ("I have to keep my later self on a short leash as I negotiate those hurricanes of feeling that propelled my time with women"). A deliberately self-absorbed manifesto from the AIDS battlefield, angrily slicing the world into us and them. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Paul Monette

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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