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1 Hawthorne Gender Studies- General

Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man

by

Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man Cover

ISBN13: 9780143038702
ISBN10: 0143038702
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A journalist's provocative, spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent undercover will transform the way we think about what it means to be a man.

Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me) and Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed), Norah Vincent absorbed a cultural experience and reported back on what she observed incognito. For more than a year and a half she ventured into the world as Ned, with an ever-present five o'clock shadow, a crew cut, wire-rim glasses, and her own size 11 1/2 shoes — a perfect disguise that enabled her to observe the world of men as an insider. The result is a sympathetic, shrewd, and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism that's destined to challenge preconceptions and attract enormous attention.

With her buddies on the bowling league she enjoyed the rough and rewarding embrace of male camaraderie undetectable to an outsider. A stint in a high-octane sales job taught her the gut-wrenching pressures endured by men who would do anything to succeed. She frequented sex clubs, dated women hungry for love but bitter about men, and infiltrated all-male communities as hermetically sealed as a men's therapy group, and even a monastery. Narrated in her utterly captivating prose style and with exquisite insight, humor, empathy, nuance, and at great personal cost, Norah uses her intimate firsthand experience to explore the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity as well as who men are apart from and in relation to women. Far from becoming bitter or outraged, Vincent ended her journey astounded — and exhausted — by the rigid codes and rituals of masculinity. Having gone where no woman (who wasn't an aspiring or actual transsexual) has gone for any significant length of time, let alone eighteen months, Norah Vincent's surprising account is an enthralling reading experience and a revelatory piece of anecdotally based gender analysis that is sure to spark fierce and fascinating conversation.

Review:

"The disguise that former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Vincent employed to trick dozens of people into believing her a man was carefully thought out: a new, shorter haircut; a pair of rectangular eyeglasses; a fake five o'clock shadow; a prosthetic penis; some preppy clothes. It was more than she needed. '[A]s I became more confident in my disguise... the props I had used... became less and less important, until sometimes I didn't need them at all,' Vincent writes. Gender marking, she found, is more about attitude than appearance. Vincent's account of the year and a half she spent posing as a man is peppered with such predictable observations. To readers of gender studies literature, none of them will be especially illuminating, but Vincent's descriptions of how she learned, and tested, such chestnuts firsthand make them awfully fun to read. As 'Ned,' Vincent joined an all-male bowling league, dated women, worked for a door-to-door sales force, spent three weeks in a monastery, hung out in strip clubs and, most dangerous of all, went on a Robert Bly — style men's retreat. She creates rich portraits of the men she met in these places and the ways they behaved — as a lesbian, she's particularly good at separating the issues of sexuality from those of gender. But the most fascinating part of the story lies within Vincent herself — and the way that censoring her emotions to pass as a man provoked a psychological breakdown. For fans of Nickel and Dimed — style immersion reporting, this book is a sure bet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Norah Vincent is a true freethinker and independent journalist in the European manner, challenging prevailing assumptions in academe, politics, and media." Camille Paglia

Review:

"An extraordinary human document, rich in empathy and insight." Bruce Bawer, author of A Place At the Table

Review:

"A fascinating, original and often hilarious long day's journey into the world of men." Christina Hoff Sommers

Review:

"Vincent's chapter on dating is the most fascinating in this otherwise unspectacular memoir....Self-Made Man is one of many books in which the hype exceeds the delivery." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Writing from the perspective of a gay woman who had a view of the male world that women don't get to see, Vincent finds unexpected complexities in the men she meets and in herself as well." Booklist

Review:

"An often humorous, incisive, and fascinating account." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Narrated with exquisite insight, humor, and empathy, the author uses her firsthand experience — the 18 months she masqueraded as a man — to explore the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity.

Synopsis:

Norah Vincent’s first two books—the New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man and Voluntary Madness—were masterworks of immersion journalism. Now Vincent unleashes her considerable talents in a spellbinding novel that’s as provocative and absorbing as her acclaimed nonfiction.
            Since his parents’ violent deaths thirteen years ago, Nick Walsh has been living alone in his childhood home, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. Deranged by his relentless sorrow, he begins spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones. As he observes all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that people do when they think no one is watching, Nick begins to unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.

Synopsis:

A journalist’s provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man

Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a man’s world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women aren’t around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a men’s therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.

About the Author

Norah Vincent left her job as a nationally syndicated opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times to research this book. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, the New York Post, The Village Voice, and The Washington Post, among other journals, and she has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows.

Table of Contents

Self-Made Man 1. Getting Started

2. Friendship

3. Sex

4. Love

5. Life

6. Work

7. Self

8. Journey's End

Acknowledgments

Author Interview

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

titianlibrarian, December 15, 2007 (view all comments by titianlibrarian)
The subtitle of this book is: "One woman's journey into manhood and back again." Hmmm. I went to a women's college, and so I've been in my fair share of fascinating, yet endless, discussions on the importance of gender and how much it is dictated by society or by biology. The experience of dressing as a man for over a year must have been incredibly eye-opening and scary, but the majority of the book reads as plainly (and uninterestingly) as a food diary. For someone who really wants to delve into the differences between men and women's behavior and perceptions of each other, I'd recommend that you skip over the majority of the book and just read the chapter entitled "Dating."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Shoshana, February 25, 2007 (view all comments by Shoshana)
+ Interesting sociological adventure and engaging first-person account

- Tiresome gender stereotypes, use of deceptive techniques

In the tradition of John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me and Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Norah Vincent disguised herself as a man and, for a year and a half, attempted to learn how men behave in their own company. While this is an intersting pursuit, and Vincent is not a bad writer, I was nonetheless disappointed by the fundamental triviality of her conclusions. Vincent seems to like neither men nor women as a group, and this antipathy is wearing after a while. Yes, she has something of a feminist outlook, but it is neither mature nor complex. Her observations about masculinity and femininity are not particularly nuanced and seem surprisingly naive for an adult. Her reported experiences with men prior to this experiment are scant, and those with women are stereotypical and suggest that women are mean and not to be trusted. Vincent fails to challenge this highly gendered world view; she masquerades as Ned in environments at the extremes of the distribution of stereotypical masculine behavior--a bowling league, an Iron John-inspired men's support group and retreat, a door-to-door commission sales job, and a Catholic monastery. I wish that she had included a wider range of settings where men congregate, alone or with women, such as an office job or bookstore. At that, why no gay men's group? Vincent compounds her stereotypes by dating women through web-based services; this is fine, but why not try to meet women through a mutual interest (books, birdwatching, sports, etc.) for a more balanced experience? I can't think much of Vincent's observations about women's neediness when she is overgeneralizing from a very small and specific pool. Disturbingly, she has sex with one of these women. No word on what her girlfriend has to say about this.

I was troubled by Vincent's deceptive techniques, but more troubled in some ways by her urge (and in some cases, she acted on this urge) to reveal herself. She sees it as confessional and perhaps as a way to seek forgiveness for the deception; I experience it as a form of taunting or narcissism disguised as confession.

Be sure to check out both the hardback and paperback covers for several views of Norah and Ned.
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(9 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143038702
Author:
Vincent, Norah
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography-Women
Subject:
Suspense
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
7.98x5.28x.66 in. .55 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies

Self-Made Man: One Woman's Year Disguised as a Man Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143038702 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The disguise that former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Vincent employed to trick dozens of people into believing her a man was carefully thought out: a new, shorter haircut; a pair of rectangular eyeglasses; a fake five o'clock shadow; a prosthetic penis; some preppy clothes. It was more than she needed. '[A]s I became more confident in my disguise... the props I had used... became less and less important, until sometimes I didn't need them at all,' Vincent writes. Gender marking, she found, is more about attitude than appearance. Vincent's account of the year and a half she spent posing as a man is peppered with such predictable observations. To readers of gender studies literature, none of them will be especially illuminating, but Vincent's descriptions of how she learned, and tested, such chestnuts firsthand make them awfully fun to read. As 'Ned,' Vincent joined an all-male bowling league, dated women, worked for a door-to-door sales force, spent three weeks in a monastery, hung out in strip clubs and, most dangerous of all, went on a Robert Bly — style men's retreat. She creates rich portraits of the men she met in these places and the ways they behaved — as a lesbian, she's particularly good at separating the issues of sexuality from those of gender. But the most fascinating part of the story lies within Vincent herself — and the way that censoring her emotions to pass as a man provoked a psychological breakdown. For fans of Nickel and Dimed — style immersion reporting, this book is a sure bet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Norah Vincent is a true freethinker and independent journalist in the European manner, challenging prevailing assumptions in academe, politics, and media."
"Review" by , "An extraordinary human document, rich in empathy and insight."
"Review" by , "A fascinating, original and often hilarious long day's journey into the world of men."
"Review" by , "Vincent's chapter on dating is the most fascinating in this otherwise unspectacular memoir....Self-Made Man is one of many books in which the hype exceeds the delivery."
"Review" by , "Writing from the perspective of a gay woman who had a view of the male world that women don't get to see, Vincent finds unexpected complexities in the men she meets and in herself as well."
"Review" by , "An often humorous, incisive, and fascinating account."
"Synopsis" by , Narrated with exquisite insight, humor, and empathy, the author uses her firsthand experience — the 18 months she masqueraded as a man — to explore the many remarkable mysteries of gender identity.
"Synopsis" by ,
Norah Vincent’s first two books—the New York Times bestseller Self-Made Man and Voluntary Madness—were masterworks of immersion journalism. Now Vincent unleashes her considerable talents in a spellbinding novel that’s as provocative and absorbing as her acclaimed nonfiction.
            Since his parents’ violent deaths thirteen years ago, Nick Walsh has been living alone in his childhood home, drinking, drugging, and debauching himself into oblivion. Deranged by his relentless sorrow, he begins spying on his neighbors via hidden cameras and microphones. As he observes all the strange, sad, and terrifying things that people do when they think no one is watching, Nick begins to unravel the shocking truth about how and why his parents died.

"Synopsis" by ,
A journalist’s provocative and spellbinding account of her eighteen months spent disguised as a man

Norah Vincent became an instant media sensation with the publication of Self-Made Man, her take on just how hard it is to be a man, even in a man’s world. Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me), Norah spent a year and a half disguised as her male alter ego, Ned, exploring what men are like when women aren’t around. As Ned, she joins a bowling team, takes a high-octane sales job, goes on dates with women (and men), visits strip clubs, and even manages to infiltrate a monastery and a men’s therapy group. At once thought- provoking and pure fun to read, Self-Made Man is a sympathetic and thrilling tour de force of immersion journalism.

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