The “fierce, erotic, haunting, truthful” memoirs of an extraordinary artist, activist, and iconoclast who lit up late-twentieth-century New York (Dennis Cooper). One of the New York Times’ “50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years” David Wojnarowicz’s brief but eventful life was not easy. From a suburban adolescence marked by neglect, drugs, prostitution, and abuse to a squalid life on the streets of New York City, to fame—and infamy—as an activist and controversial visual artist whose work was lambasted in the halls of Congress, all before his early death from AIDS at age thirty-seven, Wojnarowicz seemed to be at war with a homophobic “establishment” and the world itself. Yet what emerged from the darkness was a truly extraordinary artist and human being—an angry young man of remarkable poetic sensibilities who was inordinately sympathetic to those who, like him, lived and struggled outside society’s boundaries. Close to the Knives is his searing yet strangely beautiful account told in a collection of powerful essays. An author whom reviewers have compared to Kerouac and Genet, David Wojnarowicz mesmerizes, horrifies, and delights in equal measure with his unabashed honesty. At once savage and funny, poignant and sexy, compassionate and unforgiving, his words and stories cut like knives, leaving indelible marks on all who read them.
I am glad I am alive to witness these things; giving words to this life of sensations is a relief. Smell the flowers while you can. Close to the Knives is the artist, writer and activist David Wojnarowicz's extraordinary memoir. Filthy, beautiful, and sharp to the point of piercing, it is both an exploration of the world seen through the eyes of an artist, and a moving portrait of a generation living, grieving, and dying through the AIDS crisis. It is a triumphant hymn of resistance, and a dizzying celebration of the joys of seeing and living in the world.
A personal account of the tragic impact of AIDS chronicles one man's battle with the disease
Chronicles the life of an introspective writer, filmmaker, radical artist, and AIDS activist from age seventeen until his AIDS-related death at thirty-seven.
“[Fire in the Belly is] unimprovable as a biography-thorough, measured, beautifully written, loving but not uncritical-as a concentrated history of his times, and as a memorial.” -Luc Sante, Bookforum David Wojnarowicz was an abused child, a teen runaway who barely finished high school, but he emerged as one of the most important voices of his generation. He found his tribe in New York's East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and '80s for drugs, blight, and a burgeoning art scene. His creativity spilled out in paintings, photographs, films, texts, installations, and in his life and its recounting-creating a sort of mythos around himself. His circle of East Village artists moved into the national spotlight just as the AIDS plague began its devastating advance, and as right-wing culture warriors reared their heads. As Wojnarowicz's reputation as an artist grew, so did his reputation as an agitator-because he dealt so openly with his homosexuality, so angrily with his circumstances as a Person With AIDS, and so fiercely with his would-be censors. Fire in the Belly is the untold story of a polarizing figure at a pivotal moment in American culture-and one of the most highly acclaimed biographies of the year.
A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard – and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret. Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
Autobiographical stories and drawings by the artist and AIDS activist featured in the new documentary by Chris McKim. For most of his life, David Wojnarowicz considered himself the ultimate outsider and a true invisible man. “I’m a blank spot in a hectic civilization,” he writes in this fierce and unforgettable collection of four blistering autobiographical pieces, illustrated with his own arresting ink drawings. Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS in New York City at the age of thirty-seven, left behind a body of work that was staggering in its variety and originality. Painter, writer, photographer, performance artist, and filmmaker, he made an indelible mark on virtually every stage of the national arts scene. Yet nowhere does his anger, love, or compassion show itself as strongly as in his writing, which earned a Lambda Literary Award and prompted critics to call him the Jack Kerouac of his generation. The horrors of Wojnarowicz’s past inform his literature—his years spent as a child prostitute and living homeless on the New York streets, his outspoken, very public battle against the disease that would eventually take his life, and the entrenched government bureaucracy that sat by and did nothing. The world as seen through Wojnarowicz’s eyes in these four masterful short works is stark, cruel, and cold—and yet gloriously alive, ennobled by surprising acts of heartrending humanity. Memories That Smell Like Gasoline is a celebration of sorts: of sex, of love, of art, and of having truly lived.
Here I am, a fucked, crazy, anorexic-alcoholic-childless, beautiful woman. I never dreamt it would be like this. Tracey Emin's Strangeland is her own space, lying between the Margate of her childhood, the Turkey of her forefathers and her own, private-public life in present-day London. Her writings, a combination of memoirs and confessions, are deeply intimate, yet powerfully engaging. Tracey retains a profoundly romantic world view, paired with an uncompromising honesty. Her capacity both to create controversies and to strike chords is unequalled in British life. A remarkable book - and an original, beautiful mind.
'The knives are out for you, always. But that is the mission you accepted, David. So you have to face the knives, with fortitude. Just as we ask of the great British public...' As Home Secretary in Her Majesty's Government, David Blaylock's daily work involves the control of Britain's borders, the oversight of her police force, and the struggle against domestic terror threats. Some say the job is impossible; Blaylock insists he is tough enough. But around Westminster the gossip-mongers say his fiery temper is a liability. An ex-soldier from a modest background, Blaylock has a life-story that the public respects. Privately, though, he carries pain and remorse - over some grievous things he saw in the army, and his estrangement from an ex-wife and three children for whom he still cares. A solitary figure in a high-pressure world, with no place to call home, Blaylock is never sure whom he can trust or whether his decisions are the right ones. Constantly in his mind is the danger of an attack on Britain's streets. But over the course of one fraught autumn Blaylock finds that danger moving menacingly closer to his own person.
A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s riveting account of the transformation of the CIA and America’s special operations forces into man-hunting and killing machines in the world’s dark spaces: the new American way of war The most momentous change in American warfare over the past decade has taken place away from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, in the corners of the world where large armies can’t go. The Way of the Knife is the untold story of that shadow war: a campaign that has blurred the lines between soldiers and spies and lowered the bar for waging war across the globe. America has pursued its enemies with killer drones and special operations troops; trained privateers for assassination missions and used them to set up clandestine spying networks; and relied on mercurial dictators, untrustworthy foreign intelligence services, and proxy armies. This new approach to war has been embraced by Washington as a lower risk, lower cost alternative to the messy wars of occupation and has been championed as a clean and surgical way of conflict. But the knife has created enemies just as it has killed them. It has fomented resentments among allies, fueled instability, and created new weapons unbound by the normal rules of accountability during wartime. Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow war, from a CIA officer dropped into the tribal areas to learn the hard way how the spy games in Pakistan are played to the chain-smoking Pentagon official running an off-the-books spy operation, from a Virginia socialite whom the Pentagon hired to gather intelligence about militants in Somalia to a CIA contractor imprisoned in Lahore after going off the leash. At the heart of the book is the story of two proud and rival entities, the CIA and the American military, elbowing each other for supremacy. Sometimes, as with the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, their efforts have been perfectly coordinated. Other times, including the failed operations disclosed here for the first time, they have not. For better or worse, their struggles will define American national security in the years to come.