Man Alive by Thomas Page McBee
Man Alive is a powerful memoir about the past and the future, capturing McBee’s attempts to move beyond the violence done to him in the past and work out how it affects who he is as he goes through transitioning. It is about being alive and seeing that life in the face of terrible things. The book is an exploration of masculinity, but also how to navigate a masculinity tinged by trauma and negative experience and still emerge with a sense of the man that it would be good to be.
Though the subject is serious and reflective, the style of the book is uplifting and well-written, keeping a kind of positive force pushing forward through the narrative. McBee plays around with the word ‘man’, punning on pop culture references and displaying how disparate and changing the term can be. Man Alive is an important book, the kind of memoir that should be published to celebrate life and provide a variety of models and inspiration for others who may or may not have similar circumstances.