Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
To Be a Man
Cover of To Be a Man
To Be a Man
Stories
Borrow Borrow

In a dazzling collection of stories, the New York Times–bestselling author of The History of Love, National Book Award finalist Nicole Krauss, explores what it means to be in that most perplexing of partnerships: a couple.

In one of her strongest books of fiction, Nicole Krauss plunges fearlessly into the confusion of what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman that has existed from the very beginning in all Western myths that inform our culture. Set in contemporary times in Switzerland New York, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and South America, these stories open a window onto young women's coming of age and their newfound, somewhat mysterious sexual power, as well as the opportunities and dangers it presents ("Switzerland"). In a Los Angeles of terrible wildfires, a high school student, distressed by her divorcing parents and determined to assert her agency in the intoxicating freedom of a dangerous environment, forges an original and surprising sexual path ("End Days"). Men play a key role in all these stories as fathers, lovers, friends, children, seducers—even as a husband who is not a husband ("The Husband").

The stories mirror one another and resonate beautifully with a balance so finely tuned that the book almost feels like a novel: aging parents and newborn babies; generation gaps and unexpected deliveries of strange new leases on life; mystery and wonder at a life lived or one still to come. The two stories that bookend the collection, "Switzerland" and "To Be a Man," perfectly introduce and play out the author's major themes: sex and violence, men and women, coming of age and growing older.

In a dazzling collection of stories, the New York Times–bestselling author of The History of Love, National Book Award finalist Nicole Krauss, explores what it means to be in that most perplexing of partnerships: a couple.

In one of her strongest books of fiction, Nicole Krauss plunges fearlessly into the confusion of what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman that has existed from the very beginning in all Western myths that inform our culture. Set in contemporary times in Switzerland New York, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and South America, these stories open a window onto young women's coming of age and their newfound, somewhat mysterious sexual power, as well as the opportunities and dangers it presents ("Switzerland"). In a Los Angeles of terrible wildfires, a high school student, distressed by her divorcing parents and determined to assert her agency in the intoxicating freedom of a dangerous environment, forges an original and surprising sexual path ("End Days"). Men play a key role in all these stories as fathers, lovers, friends, children, seducers—even as a husband who is not a husband ("The Husband").

The stories mirror one another and resonate beautifully with a balance so finely tuned that the book almost feels like a novel: aging parents and newborn babies; generation gaps and unexpected deliveries of strange new leases on life; mystery and wonder at a life lived or one still to come. The two stories that bookend the collection, "Switzerland" and "To Be a Man," perfectly introduce and play out the author's major themes: sex and violence, men and women, coming of age and growing older.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Nicole Krauss is the author of the novels Forest Dark, Great House, The History of Love, and Man Walks Into a Room. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. She is currently the inaugural writer-in-residence at Columbia University's Mind, Brain, and Behavior Institute. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 3, 2020
    This triumphant first collection from Krauss (Forest Dark) crisscrosses the globe in 10 ambitious stories written over two decades that wrestle with sexuality, desire, and human connection. In one of the greatest stories, “Seeing Ershadi,” a dancer believes she spies the star of the Iranian film Taste of Cherry while in Japan for a performance, and believes she must save the actor from the suicide he commits in the film. After a friend tells her of her own unique encounter with the actor years earlier, the dancer faces the depth of her fanatic and obsessive state. Another highlight, “Future Emergencies,” is set shortly after 9/11 and remains timely as its female protagonist navigates a New York City where gas masks are distributed for free and local governments warn of vague threats. “I Am Asleep but My Heart Is Awake,” another standout, concerns a woman visiting her dead father’s apartment in Tel Aviv, only to find a stranger living in a back room, and the collection’s title story breaks a woman’s interactions with several men into four parts to ruminate on gender norms and expectations. Krauss’s style is marked by a willingness to digress into seemingly superfluous details, yet the minutiae helps the author conjure a series of realistic environments, allowing each story feel lived in. This is a spectacular book.

  • New York Times "Each story in To Be a Man is governed by its own unique and intricate logic, yet the stylistic differences are never gimmicky. Rather, the structures are possessed of an effortless elasticity, expanding and contracting to fit the stories these characters are compelled to tell. Many of the pieces, for example, barrel far beyond where we expect them to end — past any kind of resolution and into frightening and surprising territory."
  • The Guardian "The past is reckoned with; the significance of events, relationships, even the meaning of films are reinterpreted. The question of who we are at different times and places, and with different people, comes masterfully to the fore in that final story, To Be a Man."
  • Washington Post "[Krauss's] first story collection, To Be a Man, sustains her reputation. Reading her can feel like talking all night with a brilliant friend."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Triumphant . . . This is a spectacular book."
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins Publishers
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
To Be a Man
To Be a Man
Stories
Nicole Krauss
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel