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Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhoodby Carlos Andres Gomez
Synopses & Reviews
Inspired by the award-winning poet and actors acclaimed one-man play, a powerful coming-of-age memoir that reimagines masculinity for the twenty-first-century male.
Award-winning poet, actor, and writer Carlos Andrés Gómez is a supremely gifted storyteller with a captivating voice whose power resonates equally on the live stage and on the page. In one of his most moving spoken-word poems, Gómez recounts a confrontation he once had after accidentally bumping into another man at a club. Just as they were about to fight, Gómez experienced an unexplainable surge of emotion that made his eyes well up with tears. Everyone at the scene jumped back, as if crying, or showing vulnerability, was the most insane thing that Gómez could possibly have done.
Like many men in our society, Gómez grew up believing that he had to be ready to fight at all times, treat women as objects, and close off his emotional self. It wasnt until he discovered acting that he began to see the true cost of squelching ones emotions—and how aggression dominates everything that young males are taught.
Statistics on graduation rates, employment, and teen and young-adult suicide make it clear that the young males in our society are at a crisis point, but Gómez seeks to reverse these ominous trends by sharing the lessons that he has learned. Like Hill Harpers Letters to a Young Brother, Man Up will be an agent for positive change, galvanizing men—but also mothers, girlfriends, wives, and sisters—to rethink and reimagine the way all men interact with women, deal with violence, handle fear, and express emotion.
"In this self-help memoir, poet and performer Gomez uses his experiences as a springboard for grappling with the plight of contemporary masculinity. The child of a Colombian-born diplomat father and an American professor, Gomez shifted to one country after another, unsure about his identity and where he belonged. Even after his family settled in the U.S., Gomez frequently transferred between schools, and his parents' divorce left him with even deeper questions about his place in the world. Over time, Gomez embraced his mixed cultural background and discovered that his uneasiness over his heritage could be transformed into a source of strength. Each chapter of the book opens with poetry or some kind of dramatized scene. Early chapters unfold in linear fashion, but as the book progresses the organization becomes more thematic — sex, heroism, love, death. A former social worker in the Bronx, Gomez identifies as Latino, and although he went to prep school and the Ivy League, his greatest empathy is for the oppressed. This dedication is admirable, but Gomez's advice rarely rises above the self-evident: use condoms, treat women with respect, see other people as human beings. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Carlos Andrés Gómez is an award-winning poet, actor, and writer. A former social worker in Harlem and the south Bronx and a former public school teacher in Philadelphia and Manhattan, Gomez has performed at over 200 colleges and universities and has toured across North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and named Artist of the Year at the 2009 Promoting Outstanding Writers Awards, he is a two-time International Poetry Slam Champion and two-time National Poetry Slam Finalist. He appeared on HBO’s “Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam” and co-starred in Spike Lee’s film Inside Man alongside Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen.
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