The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt

Jon-Jon Goulian, Random, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6811-1
A man wears women's clothes, rejects a legal career, and otherwise baffles his parents in this flamboyant but callow memoir. Goulian, a former secretary at the New York Review of Books, has a Columbia B.A., an unused law degree, and a proud history of menial jobs and underachievement: "I own nothing, save nothing, accomplish nothing tangible and have no permanent hold on life." Goulian relates body-image issues (he had his first nose job at age 15), a militant refusal to grow up (at age 29 he was collecting stuffed animals and calling his long-suffering father "Dada"), or his gruesomely detailed sexual anxieties. Much of the book consists of Goulian fencing with relatives—including his choleric grandfather, the neoconservative philosopher Sidney Hook—as they nag him to do something with his life, but his defiance of bourgeois propriety and ambition comes off as defensive narcissism. Through all his flashy attempts to grab the reader's attention, Goulian's story never seems interesting or serious enough to deserve it. Photos. (May 17)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.