In this groundbreaking book, shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Baillie-Gifford nonfiction book prize, 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.
Thomas Page McBee was the first transgender man to ever box in Madison Square Garden. He is the author of Amateur and an award-winning memoir, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man, which was named a best book of 2014 by NPR Books, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. Thomas’s writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Pacific Standard, The New York Times, Playboy, and Glamour. He lives in Brooklyn.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer and activist whose work focuses on the role of gender in culture, politics, religion, and media. Her first book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger was named a Best Book of 2018 selection by NPR, The Washington Post, Book Riot and Psychology Today. A prolific writer and speaker, her articles have appeared in Time, Verge, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Nation, HuffPost, and The Atlantic. In 2017, she was the co-recipient of the Newhouse Mirror Award for Best Single Feature of 2016 for an in-depth investigative report on free speech and the internet, and a Wikipedia Distinguished Service Award, for exemplary contributions to the advancement of public knowledge.
She is also the Director of the Women's Media Center Speech Project and an advocate for women's freedom of expression and expanded civic and political engagement. She currently serves on the national boards of the Women's Media Center and Women, Action and the Media, as well as on the advisory councils of the Center for Democracy and Technology, VIDA, and Common Sense Media.