Next book


Romance, comedy, tragedy, terrible truth, and extraordinary love, as straight woman marries gay man, bears children, and watches their world dissolve in the wake of AIDS. Winik, a commentator for National Public Radio, left an abortive love affair in New York City to spend Mardi Gras in New Orleans and found herself suddenly and inexplicably attracted to Tony, an ex-professional ice skater who was a practicing homosexual. They spent the weekend before Fat Tuesday riding buses, clearing out his old apartment, doing drugs, drinking in the few gay bars that welcomed women. It was only months before Winik moved to New Orleans to be with him, launching a partnership that was short on sex but deep in intimacy and unquestioning mutual acceptance. The prospect of a job for Tony teaching ice skating sent the couple to Austin, Tex. The ice skating job fell through, but Winik found work writing technical manuals and Tony eventually became a successful hairdresser. They married, lost their first child but bore two healthy sons, and were living happily ever after, until Tony developed HIV symptoms whose progression began to chip away at the house that their deep love had built. Tony combined his prescription drugs with street drugs, Winik had a resounding affair, and violence, deceit, and despair curdled their happiness. As Tony neared death, Winik helped him commit suicide. The places they went, from New Orleans bars to New York City jails, and the people they knew, including astutely drawn parents, friends, and siblings, are all part of the story. Winik's gift for vivid and even ennobling detail frames this remarkable memoir, moving the reader to cry and to laugh— sometimes both at the same time. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 15, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-44572-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Next book


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview