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Mortal Embrace: Living with AIDS

Mortal Embrace: Living with AIDS

by Emmanuel Dreuilhe, Linda Coverdale (Translator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dreuilhe works as a translator, lives in New York City and has AIDS. This short, poignant diary, kept over the course of several months, will give hope and encouragement to persons afflicted with the lethal virus who refuse to take their condition as a death sentence. Military images predominate: AIDS is a tank pulverizing everything in its path; its victims, mostly male, are soldiers forced to wear mental chastity-belts; the author stubbornly resists the impulse to desert (i.e., die). Dreuilhe, who grew up in French Indochina, watches aghast as friends, a lover, neighbors succumb; he invokes Alfred Jarry's Ubu, Proust's Marcel in his bedroom; he voices rage, grief, fear and hope as the disease slowly devastates his body and his personal life. But the act of writing this journal had a healing effect, he reports. Reading it, one realizes more keenly than before how persons with AIDS need support, not ostracism. (September)
Library Journal
``The loss of my companion, whose death on the battle field I witnessed in our own home, has filled me with a thirst for revenge, a profound hatred for the virus that killed him and for the society that looked on his struggle with indifference, even a touch of revulsion.'' Diagnosed with AIDS himself, Dreuilhe's diary is a cathartic expression of his thoughts and emotions. Carrying the apt metaphor of war to the extreme and invoking literary referencesAnne Frank, Susan Sontag, ProustDreuilhe allows the philosophical to overshadow the personal. Like Paul Monette's Borrowed Time ( LJ 8/88), this work lacks the immediacy of Barbara Peabody's The Screaming Room: A Mother's Journal of Her Son's Struggle with AIDS ( LJ 6/15/86). James E. Van Buskirk, Acad of Art Coll. Lib., San Francisco

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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