An affecting AIDS account from the epidemic’s trenches.



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...



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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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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