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Thomas Page McBee - book author

Thomas Page McBee’s Lambda award-winning memoir, Man Alive, was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, and Publisher's Weekly. His “refreshing [and] radical” (The Guardian) new book, Amateur, a reported memoir about learning how to box in order to understand masculinity’s tie to violence, was published in August to wide acclaim.
Thomas was the first transgender man to box in Madison Square Garden, a “masculinity expert” for VICE, and the author of the columns “Self-Made Man” for the Rumpus and “The American Man” for Pacific Standard. His current column, "Amateur," is for Condé Nast's Them. A former senior editor at Quartz, his essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, Playboy, and Glamour.
Thomas has taught courses at the City University of New York’s graduate school of journalism; served as an advisor to the Knight Foundation/West Virginia University journalism school reporting project, 100 Days in Appalachia; and worked as a television writer for the forthcoming Netflix show, Tales of the City.
He is passionate about the importance of diversity in media, and speaks and teaches about related topics all over the country. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife.

Thomas Page McBee is the author of books: Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man

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Author Books

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01
From an award-winning writer whose work bristles with “hard-won strength, insight, agility, and love” (Maggie Nelson), an exquisite and troubling narrative of masculinity, violence, and society.

In this groundbreaking new book, the author, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence. Through his experience boxing—learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body—McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes, and the limitations of conventional masculinity. A wide-ranging exploration of gender in our society, Amateur is ultimately a story of hope, as McBee traces a new way forward, a new kind of masculinity, inside the ring and outside of it.

In this graceful, stunning, and uncompromising exploration of living, fighting, and healing, we gain insight into the stereotypes and shifting realities of masculinity today through the eyes of a new man.
02
In Man Alive, McBee asks, “What does it really mean to be a man?” by focusing on two of the most impactful men in his life – the father who abused him as a child, and a mugger who threatened his life and then released him in an odd moment of mercy. Standing at the brink of the life-changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these fallen icons of manhood as he cobbles together his own identity.

Man Alive engages an extraordinary personal story to tell a universal one – how we all struggle to create ourselves, and how this struggle often requires risks. Far from a titillating, transgender tell-all, Man Alive grapples with questions of legacy and forgiveness, love and violence, agency and invisibility. Written with the grace of a poet and the intensity of a thriller, McBee’s story will haunt and inspire.