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What I Meant To Say
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What I Meant To Say
25 Essays on the Private Lives of Men

Edited by Ian Brown

October 2005

6 " x 9 " | 256 pages
$24.95 Paperback
ISBN 0-88762-190-2


Over the past thirty years, the institution of manhood – largely unchanged since time immemorial – has been reinvented, rediscovered and remade, almost beyond recognition.

At the same time, the age-old challenges of a man's life – the physical dangers; the thankless duties; the trenchant, incommunicable loneliness and guilt; the unspeakable, sometimes unstoppable physicality of male desire; the preference for convincing action over persuasive words – remain as mysterious and unmapped as ever.

Until now.

In What I Meant To Say, writer and broadcaster Ian Brown has gathered 25 beautifully crafted and thoroughly readable essays by some of Canada's most interesting male voices – pieces of writing that explore, reveal and explain the terrain of manhood, both new and old. Contributions include:

  • Greg Hollingshead on brains over brawn
  • Brian Johnson on hernias
  • Russell Wangersky on heroes
  • David Macfarlane on erections
  • David Eddie on adultery
  • Andrew Pyper on getting married
  • Max Fawcett on guys and balls
  • Russell Smith on the appeal of the imperfect woman
  • Ian Brown on looking, and being looked at, and lying
  • Ray Robertson on men's love of guns
  • Bert Archer on preferring men over women
  • Michael Redhill on mothers, and their varieties
  • Additional topics include money, sports, divorce, cars, single parenthood, vanity, death, shopping, hobbies, sisters, solitude, New Age men, naked women, and that perennial favourite – the male fear of commitment.

Deeply insightful and always entertaining, What I Meant To Say reveals the secret thoughts and rituals of men, manhood and masculinity as they have never been revealed before. Both a post-feminist tome and a book that refuses to take orders from anyone, What I Meant To Say is a lively, thoughtful and often touching guide to the deep underbrush of guydom. Isn't it time they explained themselves?

  Ian Brown
About the Author
IAN BROWN is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. He is the author of Man Overboard:True Adventures with North American Men, and Freewheeling, which won a National Business Book Award. Brown's reporting and writing have garnered five gold National Magazine Awards and two National Newspaper Awards. He is a contributor to This American Life on U.S. public radio, and the host of both the CBC's Talking Books and Canada's pre-eminent documentary television series, Human Edge and The View from Here. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

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