BOY: A Woman Listening to Men and Boys
by Hathaway Barry
7 x 9, softcover, 374 pages
On sale through author website
Through first-person chapters told by 17 different men and edited sections with short quotes from many men and boys on select topics (see Contents below), this book gives the reader the opportunity to listen closely and deeply along with author, interviewer, and editor Hathaway Barry.
Barry spent several years interviewing over 80 men for this book. These were men and boys from a wide range of ages and circumstances.
How does it feel to be expected to be a man?
This book is a way to find out.
Author Hathaway Barry from the Introduction:
“I’ve listened a lot in my life — working with kids, especially in the outdoors and, for many years, as a mediator. But I am not a social scientist or an anthropologist. I am not a journalist…. I just wanted to listen without blame or judgment to how it is for men, a whole half of the human species I knew less about. I wanted to hear their honest human stories, without gloss or performance.
“I had a freedom as an interviewer. I was no one in particular in relation to these boys and men. Not wife or lover, colleague, boss or employee. I was just curious.
“Sometimes, in the midst of an interview, I was aware how rare this kind of time with another human being is. Like when we first fall in love or when a child is born or a loved one is dying. Clear, uninterrupted time to simply listen.”
Book design is by Hathaway Barry and VJB/Scribe. Barry had a vision of the cover that kept her going forward over the many years it took her to arrive at today, when the answers men gave to her openhearted questioning are a book. Her vision, including the typography, was a stepping stone to the interior design, where Avant Garde Gothic appears in the part and chapter titles. From there we resolved all the design questions together, in a remarkable collaboration.
The text has several voices: Hathaway Barry’s own voice as author and editor of the interviews, the singular voices of the 17 first-person chapters, and the chorus of men’s voices of all ages as we meet them in brief quotations followed by their age (in parenthesis).
The main text and the authors voice are set in Scala. After much experiment, and a happenstance type discovery in another book, the very readable sans serif Whitney Book became the typeface for the short quotation sections and running footers.
This is a difficult book to categorize, which is one reason we didn’t list a BISAC code on the cover.