Until recently, "masculinity" and its impact on literary production and reception have received scant attention in the field of literary criticism. Although critics certainly have been interested in examining gender, they have tended to be far more concerned with the "feminine" side of the equation than with the "masculine." This book is an attempt to redress that imbalance. Positing that patriarchy victimizes men as well as women, the fifteen original essays in Out of Bounds explore how certain male writers from the American and British canon have responded to the confines of the masculine code. The contributors apply a wide range of critical approaches and probe the gendered perspective in a variety of telling ways.