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Jon-Jon Goulian

The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt


Growing up in La Jolla, Jonathan Goulian played soccer, did well in school, and generally kept up with the Joneses. At least he did until the summer after 10th grade, when a trip back east gave him the necessary distance on his loving but perhaps overprotective parents and the bro culture of his San Diego friends to embrace his inner weirdness.

In the intimacy of a faraway dorm room, and with the help of a sympathetic young woman, Goulian invented Jon-Jon, the man in the gray flannel skirt—a straight-acting, cunningly cross-dressed California hypochondriac and body builder. This memoir, which details Goulian’s journey through the thickets of familial resistance and social incredulity, combines the laugh-out-loud factor of David Sedaris with the poignancy of a genuine original.

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