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Queer and Loathing


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Queer and loathing: queer and loathing at the FDA - revolt of the parents. Life in hell: etiquette for the HIV-antibody-positive; notes from the front line - writing abouts AIDS; tales from the front; direct mail from hell; sex tips for boys; AIDS and humour; April fools; bleeding gums from hell; 100 ways you can fight the AIDS crisis; cocktails from hell; nam yoho renge kyo; needles and pins; notes on sex; waiting for the end of the world; warts from hell; the day from hell; the canals of Mars; how to visit someone in hospital with a terminal disease; memorials from hell; how to make a will; everything you do is wrong; Miss Letitia Thing's new guide to excruciatingly correct behaviour for the dying; a season in hell; David P.; on the drip; the AIDS clone vs. the new clone; wide Sargasso Sea; notes on death; you can't wear a red ribbon if you're dead; death before 40; the gastronomic me; ethical suicide alternatives; political funerals; death be not proud; regrets; the last piece.


Novelist Feinberg (Eighty-Sixed) brings together an unsettling but frequently affecting collection of autobiographical essays and miscellaneous pieces (originally published in the Advocate, Details and other publications) about living with AIDS. Sometimes Feinberg's attempts at black humor merely confirm Edmund White's contention that joking about AIDS is to attempt in vain to domesticate it; an essay on etiquette for the HIV-positive begins, ``Avoid bleeding in public.'' Less facile are the more autobiographical pieces, complex blends of rage, despair and wit. Of his relationship with a friend who is HIV-negative, Feinberg writes, ``Sometims I feel like damaged goods. He has a fifty-year warrantee, and I'm stuck with a failed inspection slip in my shirt pocket.'' (Nov.)

The author of the autobiographical novels Eighty-Sixed (LJ 11/1/88) and Spontaneous Combustion (LJ 10/1/91) offers 36 essays dating from 1989 to 1994, some of which have been delivered as talks and/or appeared in such gay publications as Gay Community News, QW, Out, and the Advocate. Feinberg writes, "I would probably literally go mad if I tried to deal with AIDS at face value, without the filter of humor." His anger and impatience with hypocrisy and ignorance is palpable as he tears with biting sarcasm, bitter irony, and bitchy insight into issues of love, friendship, ACT-UP demonstrations, doctors, death, drugs, and T-cells in essays such as "Memorials from Hell," "Etiquette for the HIV-Antibody Positive," and "How To Make a Will." Vibrant and caustic, this "Eighties gonzo journalism" from a New York, Jewish, HIV-positive gay perspective is a devas- tatingly powerful personal statement.-James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.

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