The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt

April 8, 2021
The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt

The vibrant, funny, and heartwarming story of an outcastwho becomes an odd man in If you have ever felt like a misfit in school or been paralyzedby your family’s imposing expectations, if you have ever obsessedabout your appearance or panicked about choosing a career path, ifyou have ever wondered if every single thing to which your body isexposed, from egg yolks to X-rays, might harm you, then you may besurprised to find a kindred spirit in The Man in the GrayFlannel Skirt.Growing up in sunny La Jolla, California, Jon-Jon Goulian was ahyperneurotic kid who felt out of place wherever he turned, andwho, in his own words, was forever on the verge of “caving inbeneath the pressures of modern life.” From his fear of competitionto his fear of pimples, from his fear of sex to his fear ofsaturated fat, the range and depth of Jon-Jon’s phobias wereseemingly boundless. With his two older brothers providing asterling example he believed he could never live up to, and hisstern grandfather, the political philosopher Sidney Hook,continually calling him to account for his intellectual failure,Jon-Jon, feeling pressed against the wall, wracked with despair,and dizzy with insecurity, instinctively resorted, for reasons thatbecame clear to him only many years later, to a most ingeniousscheme for keeping conventional expectations at bay: women’sclothing! Ingenious, perhaps, but woefully ineffective, as Jon-Jondiscovers, again and again, that behind his skirt, leggings, haltertop, and high heels, he’s still as wildly neurotic, and as wrackedwith anxiety, as he’s always been.In this hilarious and heartfelt memoir, Jon-Jon Goulian’s wittyand exuberant voice shines through, as he comes to terms with whatit means to truly be yourself.From the Hardcover edition.