In the Country of Men: My Travels
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: In the Country of Men: My Travels
Verlag: Doubleday, US
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
Über diesen Titel
Part memoir, part social commentary, Jan Waldron's In the Country of Men is a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the meaning of gender, male-female relationships, and manhood. Jan's powerful but warm voice both provokes and seduces as she exposes the folly of gender shtick while carefully unraveling the intricate stitching of her life vis-a-vis the men who contributed to her definition of manhood: her father, her brother, her lovers, her sons.
Waldron begins with memories of her father, a boy who never really grew up, and her brother, a boy who had to grow up too fast. We experience the high drama of her first kiss, and the deep disappointment of her relationship with the father of her sons, who left the family when their two boys were four and five. She is frustrated with men and the trappings of manhood but has finally found a happy, lasting relationship with a man, and in raising her sons, she has found hope and a vision for the future of gender relations. Her boys, now sitting on the cusp of manhood, are the stars of this book.
In the Country of Men is a book of experiences, insights, and impressions recalled and written with tenderness, humor, and great empathy for males. It is not a manifesto of absolutes or a male-bashing gripe; it is not aligned with a movement nor is it about men compared to women. Waldron is just as claustrophobic at a feminist rally as she is at a rowdy men's sports bar, and teenage boy humor cracks her up. She speaks boldly and authoritatively to both men and women alike because, as she sees it, the social imperative is for gender to take its place in the parentheses while freeing us all to find our humanity
This exploration of a lifetime's relationships with men is both more and less than meets the eye. Waldron wrote about reuniting with a daughter she gave up for adoption in the well-received Giving Away Simone (1994). Here she writes about living with men, primarily her two sons, Jose and James, but also her father, her brother, and various lovers. Her father was different from other fathers of the '50s--he had no ``regular'' job, but was a jazz musician who played on weekends. He encouraged both his son and his daughter to approach life in the same unconventional way, but his Peter Pan strategy lost its charm when Waldron's mother had a nervous breakdown. Although Waldron was only 11 and her brother but 10 months older, their father withdrew, often to his bedroom, where he literally pulled up the covers. That withdrawal precipitated a break with her father that was repaired only in the last years of his life. Yet Waldron's closeness to and admiration for her brother from the time they were youngsters kept her from giving up on men; indeed, she developed a lifelong compassion for the pressures brought upon a boy to be a ``man.'' A chapter on boyfriends takes the reader along another brambly path, from the author's first 12-year-old crush (a ``California dream'') to teenage sexual adventures that left her pregnant (with the child she gave away) and battered. The father of her boys was ``brilliant,'' ``creative,'' and ``thoughtful,'' but they separated when the boys were very young. Waldron went on to raise her sons not into men, but into adults who will help in ``reinventing family.'' In one chapter she writes of her new partner, who comes close to her ideal male. Less about men than about the author, this book calls for careful reading--it is full of unexpected insights and throwaway wit, landmarks in a sometimes bland landscape. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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