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According to the editors, this collection of essays, stories, poems and memoirs seeks to explore "the otherness of the junkie, the homosexual, the sadomasochist, the criminal, the prostitute, the marginalized" in the hope of "exposing the society in which we live." To mainstream society, however, much of the "otherness" of these testimonies is a given; as a result, this anthology simply presumes a cultural conflict that it refuses to elucidate, which can hardly be construed as risk-taking. The pieces themselves, with a few exceptions, are uninspired as either literary or ideological forays into the wilderness. William Burroughs offers a tired polemic in favor of drug decriminalization; Gary Indiana's story about gay encounters trods upon familiar fictive ground; and the coming-of-age stories and memoirs--by John Preston, Dorothy Allison and Jane Delynn--are proud paeans to homosexuality undermined by a plea for sympathy. Still, High Risk has its surprises: David Wojnarowicz's musical and dreamlike "Being Queer in America"; Terence Sellers's bizarre tract "Is There Life After Sadomasochism," in which Lord Byron, "an out-of-work libertine," visits a "viral" Manhattan. Scholder is an editor with City Lights Books; Silverberg is a literary agent.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Amy Scholder, a freelance editor of art, literary and nonfiction publications, has been editing books for High Risk Books/Serpent's Tail, Verso Books, Grove Press, Eyebeam Atelier, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Distributed Arts Publishers, Crown, Artspace Books and City Lights Publishers.
Ira Silverberg works in book publishing in New York. He co-edited "Word Virus: The Selected Writing of William S. Burroughs" (Grove 1998). Silverberg has been the Editor in Chief of Grove Press; the founding Publisher of High Risk Books/Serpent's Tail; and is now a literary agent. He serves of the Boards of PEN America Center, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, the M.F.A. Writing Program of New School University and BOMB Magazine. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.