Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
For all the tragedy it brings to the lives it touches, AIDS seems to inspire individuals to draw upon personal resources of strength, courage and compassion that might otherwise have gone untapped, as reporter and novelist Whitmore (Nebraska and The Confessions of Danny Slocum) reveals in the three portraits assembled here. Indeed, the fact that Whitmore pursued this project after he was himself diagnosed with Kaposi's Sarcoma (as revealed in the epilogue) is testimony to the exact selfless dedication that he chronicles. What emerges from the profiles is the unquestioning commitment with which a disparate variety of peoplea gay volunteer who spends time with a fellow New Yorker whose illness has left him apartment-bound; a mother who brings her San Francisco street-hustler son back to his small Colorado hometown to die; health workers in a Bronx hospitalshare the blessings of their vitality with those who have been deprived of their own. Whitmore's presentation does not aggrandize their efforts but quietly records the simple sense of duty that compels them to battle adversity in its viral, personal and institutional forms. The book stands as a moving document of human service, an inspiring work as worthy of respect as the remarkable individuals that it commemorates. (April). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Three poignant AIDS case-histories by novelist Whitmore (Nebraska and The Confessions of Danny Slocum), who expanded a New York Times Magazine article to create this volume and who reveals in the epilogue that he, too, has been diagnosed with AIDS. Whitmore's first profile is of Jim Sharp, a 32-year-old ad exec who is consumed with denial but who is assisted by Ed Dunn of the Gay Men's Health Crisis--a man who has lost his own lover to the disease and who dies while helping Sharp. The second profile concerns Mike, a young good-for-nothing, but it is more about his mother, Nellie, and ""a mother's love for a son who was lost, then found, then lost again forever."" Nellie defies the prejudices of family and community in Colorado to take care of her terminally ill son, who had turned his back on her for over five years. Finally, there is a profile of two selfless ladies at the Bronx's Lincoln Hospital--Nurse Carmen Baez (who tells AIDS patients when they leave, ""I hope I never see you again,"" although she invariably does) and Sister Fran Whelan, who ""doesn't talk to patients about God in dogmatic terms. Her message is a simple one about providence and accompaniment: ""You are not alone. . .I will not leave you."" A moving, at times melodramatic, and very personal book that universalizes the AIDS experience in a way that brings it home to all. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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