Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (Perennial Classics) (Paperback)

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The National Book Award winning memoir with a new foreword by Kathryn Harrison, author of The Kiss.

“Fiercely committed to bequeathing a map of his psychic terrain, to spare others the pain of his solitary journey, [Monette’s] fine memoir is affirmative and ultimately celebratory.” — New York Times Book Review

A child of the 1950s from a small New England town, “perfect Paul” earns straight A’s and scholarships and shines in social and literary pursuits, all the while keeping a secret—from himself and the rest of the world. Struggling to be or at least to imitate a straight man, through Ivy League halls of privilege and bohemian travels abroad, loveless intimacy, and unrequited passion, Paul Monette was haunted, and finally saved, by a dream—“The thing I’d never even seen: two men in love and laughing.” This searingly honest, witty, and humane merging of memoir and manifesto has become the definitive coming out story—and a classic of the coming-of-age genre. It was awarded the 1992 National Book Award for nonfiction.

About the Author

Paul Monette (1945-1995) is the author of many books, including seven novels, four volumes of poetry, and several highly praised nonfiction works, such as Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir. In 1992, he received the National Book Award for Becoming a Man. He died of AIDS complications in 1995.

Praise For…

“Everyone can learn something about courage and self-discovery from Becoming a Man.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“One of the most complex, moral, personal, and political books to have been written about gay life.”
— L. A. Weekly

“Beautifully written…a heartfelt illumination of how a gay person overcame the self-reproach that societal condemnation enacts.”
Publishers Weekly

“A poignant, bittersweet memoir….Each stage of [Monette’s] personal journey is described at an intimate, insightful, human level.”
Library Journal

“Monette’s interior life, his ghosts, his turmoil, his final peace -- in Becoming a Man, they have become our literature.”
— --David Ebershoff, author of Pasadena and The Danish Girl

Product Details
ISBN: 9780060595647
ISBN-10: 0060595647
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Publication Date: May 25th, 2004
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Perennial Classics