If he is to become a man, what sort of man should Thomas Page McBee be? To find out, McBee must confront the suffering he has endured at the hands of men: the abuse he endured as a child from his father, and the violent mugging which almost killed him as an adult. Standing at the brink of the life-changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these examples of flawed manhood, and reclaim his body on his own terms. Powerful, uplifting and profound, Man Alive is a story about transformation; about freedom, and love, and finding the strength to rebuild ourselves as the people we are meant to be.
Thomas Page McBee writes about manhood - in all its danger and damaged allure - more beautifully and with greater nuance than any other writer I know. Man Alive is a brilliant, necessary book -- GARTH GREENWELL, author of What Belongs to You A sweet, tender hurt of a memoir ... about forgiveness and self-discovery, but mostly it's about love, so much love. McBee takes us in his capable hands and shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive -- ROXANE GAY, author of Bad Feminist Reading Man Alive is like sitting with someone uncurling his hands, then holding them out to you, open, so that you can behold all the hard-won strength, insight, agility, and love to be found there -- MAGGIE NELSON, author of The Argonauts Empathy is McBee's objective, the most important part of becoming real in one's own eyes ... we are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity * New York Times * By turns despairing and hopeful, exceptional and relatable. To read it is to witness the birth of a fuller, truer self. I loved this book -- ANN FRIEDMAN A vitally important book. McBee's story harnesses the power of self-inquiry, of generosity, of a transformation powerful enough to address even the fallout from child abuse * Los Angeles Review of Books * McBee's beautifully written story is engrossing and brave, and rings with triumph * Buzzfeed * A brilliant work of art. I bow down to McBee - his humility, his sense of humor, his insightfulness, his structural deftness, his ability to put into words what is often said but rarely, with such visceral clarity and beauty, communicated -- HEIDI JULAVITS, author of The Vanishers and The Uses of Enchantment A story about patience, forgiveness, kindness and bravery ... With this book, Thomas Page McBee has done exactly what we should all strive for: to tell our stories in ways that humanize rather than sensationalize -- LAUREN MORELLI, writer, Orange Is the New Black Well aware that memory and identity rarely follow a linear path, Thomas Page McBee attempts to answer the question, "What does it really mean to be a man?" Weaving past and present to do so, the book's journey connects violence, masculinity and forgiveness. McBee has an intelligent heart, and it beats in every sentence of this gorgeous book -- SAEED JONES, author of Prelude to Bruise