Release Date: September 15, 2020
About The Book:
A poignant look at boyhood, in the form of a heartfelt letter from comedian Michael Ian Black to his teenage son before he leaves for college, and a radical plea for rethinking masculinity and teaching young men to give and receive love.
In a world in which the word masculinity now often goes hand in hand with toxic, comedian, actor, and father Michael Ian Black offers up a way forward for boys, men, and anyone who loves them. Part memoir, part advice book, and written as a heartfelt letter to his college-bound son, A Better Man reveals Black’s own complicated relationship with his father, explores the damage and rising violence caused by the expectations placed on boys to “man up,” and searches for the best way to help young men be part of the solution, not the problem. “If we cannot allow ourselves vulnerability,” he writes, “how are we supposed to experience wonder, fear, tenderness?”
Honest, funny, and hopeful, Black skillfully navigates the complex gender issues of our time and delivers a poignant answer to an urgent question: How can we be, and raise, better men?
About The Author:
Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian, and writer who started his career with the sketch comedy show The State, on MTV, and has created and starred in many other television shows. Movie appearances include Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, and Sextuplets.
Black is the author of several books for children, including the award-winning I’m Bored, I’m Sad, and I’m Worried, and the parody A Child’s First Book of Trump. His books for adults include the memoirs You’re Not Doing It Right and Navel Gazing, and the essay collection My Custom Van. Black also co-authored with Meghan McCain America, You Sexy Bitch.
As a stand-up comedian, Michael regularly tours the country, and he has released several comedy albums. His podcasts include Mike & Tom Eat Snacks, with Tom Cavanagh; Topics, with Michael Showalter; How to Be Amazing; and Obscure.
He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.
A BuzzFeed Most-Anticipated Book of the Year
“We need this book . . . To read A Better Man now, when the world often seems beyond repair, so many generations of men having steered us into calamity with their brittleness and hubris and idiocy—one could wonder whether even a good book can make a difference. But then you’re snapped back to Black’s simple decency, and intelligence and love for his son, and you think, Oh man, maybe.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“[Black’s] tone is so lovely, his empathy so clear . . . He does wonderful work breaking down the masculine coding surrounding his own behaviors.”
—The New York Times
“Parents will be moved and enlightened by Black’s thoughtful advice.”
“There’s something for everyone in these pages. Hand this to anyone who loved David Sedaris’s Calypso.” —Booklist, starred review
“Heartfelt lessons for his college-bound son . . . Black lays out his thoughts and feelings with few defenses up and a comic lightness that doesn’t belie the book’s rather heavy truths . . . Thoughtful ruminations on masculinity in the modern age . . . Whether you’re a parent or simply thinking about life choices, there’s both melancholy and wisdom to be found here.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Both thoughtful and lighthearted, this work will appeal to anyone interested in masculinity and modern gender roles.”—Library Journal