Lots and LOTS of buzz in print media as well as on TV over Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent. Ms. Vincent went underground--waaaaay underground--and passed convincingly as a male for a year and a half, getting involved in bowling leagues and in the dating scene, making lasting friendships, and in the process, learning a great deal about herself as well as about the male of the species .
The way she did this, and her reasons for doing it make for fascinating reading. Even better are the insights she gained on how men really think and act among themselves. It's an original slant on gender issues, anecdotal of course, and very interesting.
This book got a very favorable review in The New York Times:
Don't judge this book by its cover. It features two photographs of the author, Norah Vincent. In the first, she's a brassy, attractive woman with short, upswept hair and a confident smirk on her face. In the second, she's done up in man drag, with poindexter eyeglasses, a day's worth of stubble and a necktie. There's your premise in a nutshell: assertive, opinionated Vincent, best known as a contrarian columnist for The Los Angeles Times, goes undercover as a man to learn how the fellas think and act when them pesky broads ain't around. Flip the book open, and the first thing you come to is its dedication: "To my beloved wife, Lisa McNulty, who saves my life on a daily basis." Yes, ladies and gents, the author is a self-proclaimed "dyke."
But "Self-Made Man" turns out not to be what it threatens to be, a men-are-scum diatribe destined for best-seller status in the more militant alternative bookstores of Berkeley and Ann Arbor. Rather, it's a thoughtful, diligent, entertaining piece of first-person investigative journalism. Though there's plenty of humor in "Self-Made Man," Vincent - like her spiritual forebear John Howard Griffin, the white journalist who colored his skin and lived as a black man in the South for his 1961 book "Black Like Me" - treats her self-imposed assignment seriously, not as a stunt.
As of right now, no library in the CAFE group yet owns this book. It's on order.