Pre-1994 books briefly noted or reviewed
This is a must magazine for anyone who is HIV positive, doctors, counselors, educators, students, religious leaders, care givers, and anyone else who has a sincere interest in reading an upbeat magazine with news, information, feature articles, photographic essays, editorials, and many regular columns. It is a very professional and extremely well-designed, slick-cover publication. It includes advertising that is directed at all HIV positive individuals, for which the publisher has received various amounts of flack from potential advertisers who fear they may be looked upon as exploitive. This reviewer certainly does not see it this way, in fact, it is a welcome offering to be able to see advertising for such products and services as NAYA, Medical Escrow Society, Viatical Benefits Foundation, Health Management Resources, National Viator Representatives, Community Prescription Service, Advera, CitriSource, Page, and Stadtlanders Pharmacy. It is difficult to believer that advertising that targets HIV positive individuals is exploitive, especially when it is providing them a source to see products and services that are being specifically developed for them. These individuals, more than anyone, need to know what is out there on the market that may help make their life easier.
To give an idea of the type of top-notch articles in POZ, the April/May, 1995 issue had as feature articles: "Larry Kramer, With Sugar On Top: Andrew Sullivan takes on the father of AIDS activism," Don't Drink the Water: This is not a drill--Cryptosporidium is a serious threat," Greg Louganis Surfaces: Olympic diver reveals his championship form," "A Thousand Words: Gorman, Sanchez, Scavullo, Watson and Weber photograph AIDS," and "Peter Jennings Gets Angry: ABC anchor covers AIDS better than most." Added to these features are regular columns of "Up Front" which includes letters and views from the editor; "Columns" which covers such topics as AIDS Zen, sex, health, media, and ethics; "Profiles" of noteworthy individuals; and "Partner" which contains a potpourri of brief articles on standard of care, treatment, and other topics important to HIV positive individuals.
This is a highly recommended publication. Potential advertisers need to step back and look at the enormous good this publication provides for a population that needs a magazine which is upbeat at a time when everything looks bleak. This reviewer reads each issue from cover to cover and has yet to find anything offensive in advertising.
343. Telling the Beads: Sonnets, by M.S. Montgomery. 1994. Chestnut Hills Press, 541 Piccadilly Road, Baltimore, MD 21204. 74p. ISBN 0-932616-50-X. no price given. (Descriptors: Gay Men, Poetry, Bisexual Men)
Forty-nine sonnets are presented by M.S. Montgomery, a professional academic librarian and bibliographic activist. These are a delight to read, revealing many inner feelings of Montgomery. From the first group of sonnets titled "Telling the Beads" to the final sonnet, "Pride," one is privy to the private life of a religious person, who knows what he is, what he likes, and isn't afraid to put it down in writing for all to read. AIDS is not the theme, but it does spread its dark wings over some of the sonnets such as "The Messenger" where an anonymous encounter reveals that one of the participants has AIDS--"Turn up the rheostat and see these purple lesions on my chest. They're called "gay cancer"--have you heard of that?". The majority of the sonnets, however, tell of experiences that gays can relate to such as in the second part of "Turning"--"It's when he's finished you feel most secure: his brawny chest protects your narrow back, and with his still stiff cock deep up your crack you know you've felt the worst you must endure." Finally, in the last sonnet, Montgomery sums up his life with "Then, suddenly, I knew I must unlock this second closet's door, reach out my left hand towards the glinting sun, march honest in the light and nevermore reenter: only then would I be one; I knew I'd have to feel, if truly free, a common pride in them and her and me." Recommended for anyone who is gay or bisexual as well as all academic libraries.
344. AIDS and the Arrows of Pestilence, by Charles F. Clark. 1994. Fulcrum Publishing, 350 Indiana St., Ste. 350, Golden, CO 80401-5093. 171p., illus., bibliog., index. ISBN 1-55591-146-3. $23.95. (Descriptors: Social Aspects, History)
This book looks at AIDS from the point of view of mythology, religion, and the history of past plagues and epidemics. The title is taken from the fact that "The arrow represents both love and pesilential disease." Clark stresses that to study AIDS in any one particular country, you need to study the culture of that country because AIDS is looked at very differently from country to country. Religion plays a big part as does the history in general of the peoples. "Today, our knowledge of our own artistic and cultural traditions regarding epidemic disease is somewhat limited because we have not experienced any devastating epidemics for several generations, and so we have not had any reason to develop that knowledge." After a brief introduction the book progresses from the knowledge known about the first diseases to the mythological and religious implications. A discussion of the lenti viruses and their impact on cultures is followed with the biology of HIV transmission. Finally the political and economic aspects are presented.
Some view disease as a punishment and others view disease as something that will eventually affect everyone. Clark tries to explain how theses two views came about. He professes that "Any disease, however, is a natural phenomenon, and cultures and disease continually engage in an ongoing struggle of reaction and adaption." He admits that there are no easy solutions to this epidemic but there are mechanisms available now that can control the spread of AIDS infection--namely the condom and restructured social and medical services, but we need "the prerequisite political will and social courage to face the disease and alter our ideas about social and moral responsibility." This is a highly recommended book for anyone to read. It is very readable and non-technical so that the layperson, student, professional, and academic can all gain from Clark's insights about AIDS. All libraries should have copies.
345. City of God, by Gil Cuadros. 1994. City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133. 150p. ISBN 0-87286-295-X. $9.95. (Descriptors: Los Angeles, Literary Collections, Patients, Hispanic American Men, Gay Men)
This is a book about a young Latino growing up in Los Angeles, "coming out in Hollywood bars, and living with AIDS." Through a journal that Cuadros has meticulously kept, one lives the life of a religious individual who watches death in the family and then recalls memories of his growing up before he had AIDS and was close to death. He tries to justify all that has happened and is happening to him. His culture, family, and religion all tug at him from every direction, yet he feels empty with no answer for why AIDS has chosen him. This is a moving book that can be quickly read, leaving the reader with a lot to think about. Highly recommended for all libraries, especially those serving Latino communities.
346. Burning Library: Essays, by Edmund White, edited by David Bergman. 1994. Alfred A. Knopf, 201 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022. 386p., index. ISBN 0-679-43475-5. $25.00. (Descriptors: Gay Men Social Life and Customs, Intellectual Life, History and Criticism)
"Edmund White is one of our most celebrated novelists and astute social commentators. Now, this richly varied collection brings together his most enduring essays from the past twenty-five years--a wide range of writings on art, politics and sexuality." White was a fascinating man who wove story after story around his life and the world he lived in. He writes about the Stonewall riots and the changing of gay life from that time to the present into the age of the AIDS epidemic. He was moved immensely by the AIDS epidemic, losing so many of his friends to the disease. The title of the book is "derived from the saying that when someone dies a library burns, refers to a pervasive sense of loss." His essays are arranged chronologically, seventies, eighties, and nineties, with the first essay being a previously unpublished one, "The Gay Philosopher," recalling how gays talked about being gay in the early seventies. The last essay, "The Personal Is Political: Queer Fiction and Criticism," is a speech given at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center, in 1993.
This is a delightful book to read that can make you smile, laugh, cry, relate to, or raise your anger. It is a book for everyone and should be in all libraries from school to academic. In reading the essays one finds that he was influenced by many people including Vladimir Nabokov, Christopher Isherwood, Truman Capote, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Highly recommended.
347. Art and Lies: A Piece for Three Voices and a Bawd, by Jeanette Winterson. 1995. Alfred K. Knopf, 201 E. 50th St., New York, NY 10022. 294p. ISBN 0-679-44181-6. $22.00. (Descriptors: Artists, Psychology, Fiction, Art and Technology, Women Artists, Monologues)
This novel is included, not because it has an AIDS theme, but because it has nothing to do with AIDS. From time to time the editor will include a novel of this type to take away the doom that may come from reviewing so many AIDS books. This particular book was controversial in England. It is about three characters--Handel who is an ex-priest that has recently become a surgeon, Picasso who is a women rejected by her family and now an artists, and Sappho who is the well-known lesbian poet of long ago. The story is one of lust, lost love, culture, and the realization that life can be cold and foreboding. Recommended for public and academic libraries and for any individual who just wants to read a good book.
348. HIV/AIDS Primary Care Handbook, by Cynthia G. Carmichael, J. Kevin Carmichael, Margaret A. Fischl. 1995. Appleton & Lange, 25 Van Zant St., East Norwalk, CT 06855. 228p., index. ISBN: 0-8385-3557-7. $16.95. (Descriptors: Handbook, Testing, Medications, Women, Children) (11 contributors to this volume)"This book began as effort to provide guidelines regarding HIV/AIDS care for physicians practicing in community health centers in South Florida." After several annual revisions this handbook was developed. It is intended to interpret current data concerning HIV/AIDS and then make suggestions that are clinically relevant and concise. The book is to be updated annually. It is arranged in handbook style with brief information that can be consulted quickly and easily. The chapters cover "The State of the Epidemic," "HIV Testing," "An Overview of HIV Care," "Initial Patient Visit," "Follow-up Examination," "Prophylaxis Against Opportunistic Infections," "Antiretroviral Therapy and Strategy," "Common HIV-Associated Infections and Conditions," "Differential Diagnosis of Common Complaints in HIV-Infected Individuals," "HIV Infection in Women," "HIV Infection in Children," "HIV and Nutrition," "Experimental and Nontraditional Treatments for AIDS," "Health Care Workers and HIV," and "Medications Commonly Used in HIV-Infected Individuals."
This is an excellent handbook with a great deal of information that would be useful to any doctor, nurse, or other professional in the health field. It is a handy pocket size and spiral bound. Recommended for all medical libraries and would be useful for the reference shelf of public libraries.
349. What Everyone Can Do to Fight AIDS, by Anne Garwood and Ben Melnick. 1995. Jossey-Bass, 350 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94104. 193p., illus, bibliog. ISBN 0-7879-0044-3. $14.00. (Descriptors: Popular Works)
This is an excellent small book for the layperson. It "offers both information and inspiration" and "It provides the basic facts about AIDS, suggests where to go for more information, and offers tips and ideas about ways to become involved in the fight against the disease." It is well written and full of facts and suggestions. The 9 chapters cover "Learning About HIV and AIDS," "Preventing AIDS," "Teaching Your Children," "How Should I Act Around People with AIDS?," "Helping People Living with AIDS," "Raising Awareness in Your Community," "Getting Young People Involved," "Doing More," and "Mourning Those Lost to AIDS." Each chapter discusses the topic and ends with references to additional resources. This is an ideal book for school and public libraries and an excellent book for personal use. It is recommended for all libraries.
350. Seasons of Grief and Grace: A Sister's Story of AIDS, by Susan Ford Wiltshire. 1994. Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, TN 37235. 205p., illus., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-8265-1261-5. $17.95. (Descriptors: Health, Patients, Biography, Brothers and Sisters)
This is a beautiful, moving story of a sister's love for her brother and how she and the family came to grips with his having AIDS. They grew up in Texas with strong family ties. She became a noted classic scholar and he became an important figure in the Republican party. Susan writes of the special bonds that she and her brother had and how they talked about everything from their childhood, to schooling, to being gay, and ultimately AIDS. This book will make you cry and also make you angry. AIDS is cruel in its tearing people apart but Susan learned to cope and found comfort in living day to day with happy thoughts of the past. A recommended book for everyone from high school to university. All libraries should have copies.
351. You Got to Burn to Shine: New and Selected Writings, by John Giorno. 1994. High Risk Books/Serpent's Tail, 401 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10012. 192p. ISBN 1-85242-321-8. $11.99. (Descriptors: Gay Men, Literary Collections)
John Giorno has produced many books of poetry and 28 LPs, CDs, and tape cassettes. He is also the founder of the AIDS Treatment Project. This is his first book for several years. It contains many "sexual and philosophical poetry spanning two decades." Also included are what could be called memoirs that include his friendship with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. To read his poetry and essays is to become involved. His poems are meant to be read aloud in public "he writhes and sweats and shouts and whines, and you forget you are watching a man, losing yourself in his stream of words from the unconscious." One selection contains "notes toward a Buddhist understanding of death in the age of AIDS." This is an interesting book and one that will require much deep thought. John has seen a lot in his lifetime and has experienced more than most. His poems are meant to be read again and again. Recommended for all academic and public libraries.
352. AIDS and the Law of Workplace Discrimination, by Jeffrey A. Mello. 1995. Westview Press, Inc., 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, CO 80301-2877. 153p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-8133-2295-2. $54.00 (Descriptors: Patients, Employment, Law and Legislation, Discrimination in Employment)
Discrimination in employment continues to be a problem, regardless of the cause, but discrimination because of AIDS is based on a total misunderstanding of the disease. Because of this misunderstanding "Many employers, confused by such terminology, flatly refuse to hire any applicant who suffers from AIDS, no matter which stage of the disease afflicts the individual." This excellent book is intended to help educate those who do not know the facts. It presents a history of how the legal system is coping with HIV/AIDS in the workplace. It examines the various state and federal laws that protect handicapped/disabled workers and determines which of these laws can protect those with HIV infection. The book also looks at the current trends in employment discrimination laws which are expected to continue and escalate. "Societal and medical changes will certainly impact the state of how HIV infection is treated within the legal framework of employment law."
The seven chapters cover "Introduction," "The Legal Framework and Its Evolution," "Protection in Different Stages of HIV Infection," "Means of Discrimination," "Employer Defenses," "Relationships Between Select Case Variables," and "Limitations of Law and Recommendations." Discrimination because of disease has been around since the Middle Ages. The sad fact with AIDS is that many of the individuals are already discriminated against because they are gay. However, the biggest problem with AIDS/HIV is the ignorance that surrounds the disease. Even with of all the education, many people still do not know what causes HIV infection, do not know how to protect themselves from infection, and do not know how it is spread. "The single most common justification employers have used for discriminating against employees infected with HIV involves the fear of contagion." This book speaks about this fear and other fears. It points out the worst case scenarios and gives suggestions on what can be done. Legal cases are quoted throughout. In summary it is stressed that this discrimination is actually making it difficult to fight AIDS because those infected are in constant fear that they will be unable to retain their jobs or get the proper health care and, therefore, hide the fact that they are HIV positive. An excellent book for anyone who is interested in the legal aspects of HIV/AIDS in the workplace. A recommended book for any library.
353. Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS, photographs by Carolyn Jones, concept by George DeSipio, Jr., foreword by Ian McKellen, introduction by Michael Liberatore. 1994. Abbeville Press, 488 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022. 85p., illus. ISBN 1-55859-713-1. $19.95. (Descriptors: Patients, Pictorial Works)
Carolyn Jones has captured a vast array of feelings and emotions in the photographs in this book. It shows the proud side of the many individuals associated with HIV/AIDS. These are beautiful photographs that depict the happy side of many of those being photographed rather than the sad side. It contains photographs of "people from all backgrounds--children and grandmothers, men and women of all races--living with HIV and AIDS." "These captivating pictures illustrate the self-confidence and wisdom of ordinary people coping with an extraordinary fate, facing their mortality, questioning their priorities, and living life to the fullest." It is this living life to the fullest that hits you when you look at these photographs. Anyone with HIV infection should see this book and study it in detail. It will help them cope with this dreadful disease and so that they can then live their life to its fullest. Highly recommended for all libraries.
354. Provincetown Arts, edited and published by Christopher Busa. v.1- 1984- . Provincetown Arts, P.O. Box 35, 650 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 02657. ISSN 1053-5012. $10.00 per annual issue. (Arts)
This annual publication is devoted to the activities in and around Provincetown, the country's most celebrated art community. It "offers a unique blend of interviews, fiction, visual features, reporting, and poetry." Many of the poems, articles, and art presentations are overshadowed with HIV/AIDS in that the individuals are themselves HIV positive. This is a beautiful publication to sit and browse through, read the articles, scan the advertisements, and wishing you could be there. For the gay/lesbian community, Provincetown is a beautiful place to visit and this publication proves it. It is a publication that soothes the soul through the many beautiful poems, photographs, and essays. Highly recommended for all individuals, especially those that are HIV positive, needing a positive publication to read. All public and academic libraries should have this publication.
355. Voices That Care: Stories and Encouragements for People with AIDS/HIV and Those Who Love Them, by Neal Hitchens. 1992. Fireside, Rockefeller Center, 1230 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. 276p. ISBN 0-671-88230-9. $11.00. (Descriptors: Miscellanea, HIV Infections)
A very interesting book of notes, comments, essays, and advice for those who are infected with the HIV virus. It is a moving book that "gives a voice to the tens of thousands of sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, grandchildren, and grandparents who are living and dying with AIDS." Any HIV positive individual will find some comforting words in this book. A highly recommended book for all libraries from school to academic.
356. No One to Call Me Home: "America's New Orphans," by James J. Close. 1990. Mission of Our Lady of Mercy, Inc., 1140 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607. 113p. free with a donation. (Descriptors: Children, Homeless Children)
This book presents the history and mission of the Mission of Our Lady of Mercy and its Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. This Home is for all boys and girls, regardless of what has taken them from their true homes. With the age of AIDS, many of these boys and girls are turned away from their families because of the disease. This Home is a place of hope for them. Recommended for all libraries.
357. AIDS Demo Graphics, by Douglas Crimp, Adam Rolston. 1990. Bay Press, 115 W. Denny Way, Seattle, WA 98119. 141p., illus. ISBN 0-941920-16-X. $13.95. (Descriptors: Political Aspects, Social Aspects, Posters)
"This book is intended as a demonstration, in both senses of the word. It is meant as direct action, putting the power of representation in the hands of as many people as possible. And it is presented as a do-it-yourself manual, showing how to make propaganda work in the fight against AIDS." That says it all. It is an excellent book that chronicles much of what ACT UP has done over the years in its fight for AIDS funding and recognition that this disease needs immediate attention. The illustrations of the many AIDS posters should be required reading by all political and religious people who are anti-everything that relates to AIDS. Highly recommended for all libraries.
358. Family Planning at Your Fingertips: Adapted from the Pages of Contraceptive Technology, by Robert A. Hatcher, Susan Wysocki, Deborah Kowal, Felicia Jane Guest, James Trussell, Felicia Stewart, Gary K. Stewart, Willard Cates. 1993. Essential Medical Information Systems, Inc., P.O. Box 1607, Durant, OK 74702. 416p., illus. ISBN 0-8290-3168-5. $19.95. (Descriptors: Contraception, Birth Control, Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
This is a well-organized handbook on contraception, birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. It is intended for the professional but would also be a useful home guide. Areas covered include "Information for Counselors and Clinicians," "Prescriptive Contraceptives: Oral," "Other Prescriptive Contraceptives," "Barrier Methods of Contraception," "Non-Prescriptive Methods of Contraception," "Abortion," "Sterilization," "Sexually Transmitted Diseases," and "HIV Infection." The section on HIV infection is brief but accurate. Recommended for all libraries.
359. Close to Death, by Patricia Smith. 1993. Zoland Books, 384 Huron Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138. 119p. ISBN 0-944-72-35-6. $10.95. (Descriptors: Afro-American Men, Poetry)
Patricia Smith writes touching, sincere, and truthful poems about the plight of the black male in the United States who is hit with homicide, drug abuse, and AIDS-related deaths. This book is "a book of poems amplifying the voices and souls of black men at various stages of their lives, is a poetic requiem for those who struggle against the odds, for those who have resigned themselves to death, and for those already gone." A highly recommended book for all libraries.
360. Big Towns, Big Talk, by Patricia Smith. 1992. Zoland Books, 384 Huron Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138. 114p. ISBN 0-944072-24-0. $9.95. (Descriptors: Afro-American Women, Poetry, Social Problems)
This is an earlier book of Patricia's with poems about Afro-American women after they have grown up. They are delightful poems to read with much compassion and love. She writes of what is happening around her, around Chicago, around the United States. One can feel anger, love, and sometimes pity when reading the poems. Recommended for all libraries.
361. Coping with AIDS: Facts and Fears, by Morton L. Kurland. 1990. Rosen Publishing Group, 29 E 21st St., New York, NY 10010. 134p., bibliog., index. ISBN 0-8239-1148-9. $14.95. (Descriptors: Popular Works, Adolescence)
This is a book for the teenager. Although it is a 1990 publication, it still presents the basic information that one should know about AIDS. The chapters cover "What Is AIDS?," "Safe Sex?," "How Does the Virus Kill?," "How Does AIDS Spread?," "Can I Be Infected?," "Out of Africa," "Is the Epidemic Really Bad?," "How Can I Cope with This?," and "The Future Is in Our Hands." These chapters are then followed with a series of questions and answers, a glossary, bibliography, and list of crisis centers. In the chapter on safe sex, the condom is openly discussed and its use is highly recommended. This is an excellent book for school and public libraries.
362. AIDS Research Reviews, edited by Wayne C. Koff, Flossie Wong-Staal, Ronald C. Kennedy. v. 1- , 1991- . Marcel Dekker, Inc., 270 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. ISSN 1056-1080. $165.00v.1, $155.00v.2, $195.00v.3, all that have been published so far. (Descriptors: Reviews, Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, Vaccines) (60 contributors to v.3; 35 contributors to v.2; 61 contributors to v. 1)
The purpose of this irregularly issued publication is to present a review of the latest research advances on HIV infection and AIDS. Each volume covers one or more of the following broad areas: molecular biology, host responses, animal models, drug development, vaccine development, pathogenesis, and immunotherapy. The articles are technical and contain large bibliographies thus permitting the reader to look further on the topic. Although somewhat expensive, these are critical volumes for any medical library to have in their collection.