An affecting AIDS account from the epidemic’s trenches.

MY EPIDEMIC

AN AIDS MEMOIR OF ONE MAN’S STRUGGLE AS DOCTOR, PATIENT AND SURVIVOR

A survivor of the AIDS epidemic chronicles his unique role as both doctor and patient in this debut memoir.

Faulk was a physician during the AIDS epidemic. In fact, from 1984 to 1991, he limited his practice to patients with HIV, a population for whom the disease was viewed as a death sentence. The author possessed one thing that many other doctors of the time did not: He was infected with HIV himself. “In spite of my efforts to separate the two roles of doctor and patient,” he recalls, “every patient’s illness became a mirror of my own disease. Every time I walked into an examination room I was seeing me, talking to me, diagnosing me—in every patient I saw, I saw myself.” With this book, Faulk recounts his singular experience straddling both sides of the AIDS crisis. It is, in part, a narrative of death: The author treated some 50 patients who died as well as his partner and many of his friends. (As he labored to make them comfortable, he assumed his own death was imminent.) It is also a narrative of one community’s tremendous courage, empathy, and triumph in the face of an existential threat and a wider culture that turned its back on it. From his time in medical school, when he first caught wind of the disease at the edges of his social circle, to his long and ultimately tragic relationship with his partner, Jack, to his current marriage and activism all these years later, the author offers an account of love, loss, grief, and survival. Faulk’s prose is warm and wistful, and he describes the people in his life with great admiration and generosity. His bedside manner is present even in his descriptions of the hard times, as when he had to inform people of their diagnoses: “As part of this strategy, I wouldn’t answer questions which weren’t asked; I would wait for the patient to lead me to their hopes and fears. I wouldn’t rush. I would take my time.” The author’s experience makes him particularly suited to speak about the scope of the epidemic, and his story is a valuable window into a time that was not long ago and yet has become so difficult to imagine.

An affecting AIDS account from the epidemic’s trenches.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-73342-910-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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