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Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourning (review)

Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourning (review) 04-Reviews_295-326 6/24/05 8:22 AM Page 295 REVIEWS Sarah Brophy. Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourn- ing. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2004. 271 pp. Illustrated. ISBN 0-8020- 8567-9, $28.00, $Can63.00. Sarah Brophy’s book, which began as a dissertation, focuses intensively on four texts: Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature, Amy Hoffman’s Hospital Time, Eric Michaels’s Unbecoming, and Jamaica Kincaid’s My Brother. Its thesis is that “personal testimonies written in response to HIV and AIDS attempt to intervene in cultural memory by rewriting the story of the body and its loca- tions, thus significantly altering how readers receive and respond to these imaginings and re-imaginings” (4). Brophy’s claim that she “challenge[s] the tendency to treat AIDS testimonial literature as a genre particular to gay men, opening up a dialogue among a diverse array of testimonial accounts, one that is important given the changing demographics of the disease in North Amer- ica as well as worldwide” (28) is an odd one. She is hardly the first critic to discuss AIDS testimony by or about PWAs who are not gay men, and although two of her four selected authors are women, the subjects of all four narratives are gay men. There http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourning (review)

Biography , Volume 28 (2) – Aug 3, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

04-Reviews_295-326 6/24/05 8:22 AM Page 295 REVIEWS Sarah Brophy. Witnessing AIDS: Writing, Testimony, and the Work of Mourn- ing. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2004. 271 pp. Illustrated. ISBN 0-8020- 8567-9, $28.00, $Can63.00. Sarah Brophy’s book, which began as a dissertation, focuses intensively on four texts: Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature, Amy Hoffman’s Hospital Time, Eric Michaels’s Unbecoming, and Jamaica Kincaid’s My Brother. Its thesis is that “personal testimonies written in response to HIV and AIDS attempt to intervene in cultural memory by rewriting the story of the body and its loca- tions, thus significantly altering how readers receive and respond to these imaginings and re-imaginings” (4). Brophy’s claim that she “challenge[s] the tendency to treat AIDS testimonial literature as a genre particular to gay men, opening up a dialogue among a diverse array of testimonial accounts, one that is important given the changing demographics of the disease in North Amer- ica as well as worldwide” (28) is an odd one. She is hardly the first critic to discuss AIDS testimony by or about PWAs who are not gay men, and although two of her four selected authors are women, the subjects of all four narratives are gay men. There

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 3, 2005

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