Tracy Dawson with Kate Novack - Let Me Be Frank (Online Event)

Tracy Dawson
in conversation with Kate Novack

Let Me Be Frank
A Book About Women Who Dressed Like Men
to Do Shit They Weren't Supposed to Do

Live Online

Mon., May 16, 2022 • 5:30pm PT

This event will be hosted online by Book Passage. Please contact with questions regarding online events.

“A smart, funny journey through history that introduces us to the rule breakers who made history worth traveling through.”—Patton Oswalt

“I came up with Tracy as a fellow sketch comedian on the vomit-soaked stages of the Toronto comedy scene. And like the brilliant, resourceful, rule-breaking, damn-well-stubborn sisters in Let Me Be Frank, Tracy is someone who gets the job done, and gets it done well.”—Samantha Bee

In this entertaining and eye-opening collection, writer, actor, and feminist Tracy Dawson showcases trailblazers throughout history who disguised themselves as men and continuously broke the rules to gain access and opportunities denied them because they were women.

Let Me Be Frank illuminates with a wry warmth the incredible stories of a diverse group of women from different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds who have defied the patriarchy, refusing to allow men or the status quo to define their lives or break their spirit. An often sardonic and thoroughly impassioned homage to female ingenuity and tenacity, the women profiled in this inspiring anthology broke the rules to reach their goals and refused to take “no” for an answer. These women took matters into their own hands, dressing — sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively — as men to do what they wanted to do. This includes competing in marathons, publishing books, escaping enslavement, practicing medicine, tunneling deep in the earth as miners, taking to the seas as pirates and serving on the frontlines in the military, among many other pursuits. Not only did these women persist, many unknowingly made history and ultimately inspired later generations in doing so. This compendium is an informative and enthralling celebration of these revolutionary badasses who have changed the world and our lives.

Let Me Be Frank is filled with more than two dozen specially commissioned, full-color illustrations and hand-lettering by artist Tina Berning, whose multi-award-winning work has been published in numerous publications and anthologies worldwide, and is designed by Alex Kalman.

Actress and writer Tracy Dawson is no stranger to doing what she wants in a man’s world, having been a part of the entertainment and comedy scene for years. Tracy began on the mainstage of the world renowned Second City in Toronto. In 2009 Tracy won an emerging TV writer award at the Banff World Television Festival and was soon staffed as a writer (and later cast as a lead actor) on the Canadian comedy series, Call Me Fitz. Tracy went on to win the Gemini Award and the Canadian Screen Award for Best Lead Comedic Actress for her work opposite Jason Priestley on Fitz. Tracy was born in Ottawa, Canada and is currently based in Los Angeles where she lives with her life partner Isaac, who is a dog. 

Kate Novack is an Emmy-nominated writer, director and producer of documentary films. Her most recent film, Hysterical Girl (New York Times Op-Docs, Grasshopper Film, 2020), revisits the only major case history that Sigmund Freud produced of a female patient, and considers the corrosive legacy of his theory of hysteria, 125 years later. Hysterical Girl was shortlisted for an Academy Award and nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a documentary. New Yorker critic Richard Brody described it as "extraordinary...strikes at the very foundations of the field of psychology, and the historical failure to believe victims which has not yet been righted." Kate’s feature The Gospel According to Andre (Magnolia Pictures, 2018), about the legendary fashion editor Andre Leon Talley, was named one of the top ten Queer films of the year by Indiewire and nominated for best LGBTQ documentary of the year by the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. A former print journalist, Kate was a writer and producer on Page One: Inside the New York Times (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media and History Films, 2011), which was nominated for two News & Documentary Emmys and a Critics Choice Award.


Tracy Dawson photo courtesy of Miles Schuster



Online Event
Let Me Be Frank: A Book About Women Who Dressed Like Men to Do Shit They Weren't Supposed to Do Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063061064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Design - May 10th, 2022