Real Man Adventures by T Cooper

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A few years ago, the novelist T Cooper wrote his parents a letter telling them he “wasn’t their daughter anymore.” And that was the “good news.”

Real Man Adventures is Cooper’s brash, wildly inventive, and often comic exploration of the paradoxes and pleasures of masculinity. He takes us through his transition into identifying as male, and how he went on to marry his wife and become an adoring stepfather of two children. Alternately bemused and exasperated when he feels compelled to explain all this, Cooper never loses his sense of humor. “Ten Things People Assume I Understand About Women But Actually Don’t,” reads one chapter title, while another proffers: “Sometimes I Think the Whole of Modern History Can Be Explained by Testosterone.”

A brilliant collage of letters, essays, interviews (with his brother, with his wife, with the parents of other transgender children), artwork, and sharp evocations of difficult conversations with old friends and puzzled bureaucrats, Real Man Adventures will forever change what you think about what it means to be a man.

About T Cooper

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T Cooper is the author of three novels, including the bestselling The Beaufort Diaries and Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes. Cooper's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Believer, and One Story, among others. He lives in both New York and the South with his wife, children, and two rescue pit bulls.
Published November 13, 2012 by McSweeney's. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Humor & Entertainment, Gay & Lesbian, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Real Man Adventures

Kirkus Reviews

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With lively writing throughout, Cooper presents haiku pieces, childhood memories and the “sitting down to urinate” debate creatively interwoven with frank discussions of transgender violence, poignant commentary from his wife, who constantly fears for her husband’s safety (they live in a “decided...

Sep 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Real Man Adventures

Publishers Weekly

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Cooper knows the “essential truth” that “the foremost thing on people’s minds when confronted with a transgender man is his dick,” and addresses these facts (salient, but not dispositive), along with others, in a variety of registers—humorous, angry, resigned, fearful, accepting, worr...

Oct 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Real Man Adventures


“I don’t really want to write about this thing of mine,” he writes, “but I think I might have to—to stop it from being a thing.” So he writes the thing, which poses its own identity crisis—Cooper is now a trans dude who w...

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Real Man Adventures

Time Out Chicago

In one chapter, he fears being “an asshole for wasting all of this time and energy writing about my stupid fucking self.” In another, he asks his wife, “Will you still love and respect me if I am ever accidentally referred to as a ‘memoirist’?” Yes, she replies, adding, “You really need to get ov...

Jan 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Real Man Adventures

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