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A Positive Life: Portraits of Women : Living With HIV Paperback – October 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Running Pr; English Language edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076240244X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762402441
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,922,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Although women are the fastest-growing segment of the population becoming infected with HIV, their experiences have long been slighted by the media. This work begins to remedy that situation by presenting interviews and beautiful color photographs of 30 women living with HIV. The result of a collaboration between a well-known poet and AIDS activist and a photographer experienced in interviewing women with AIDS, this stunning book allows these women to tell their own stories. All the profiles and photographs are wrenching, for many of the women recount lives of poverty, abuse, and shame. Most are mothers and express fear and sadness at an uncertain future with their families. As the husband of one woman says, "Our forever is not like your forever." But all the women display strength and dignity in the face of their illness and its impact. At once heartbreaking and exhilarating, this book belongs in every library.?Linda Gleason, Univ. of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Lib., Newark
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

River Huston is an award winning poet, journalist, performer, painter and activist. She travels through the United States speaking on issues related to sexuality, communication, overcoming challenges and change. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Showtime, Nightline, CNN and ABC Up To The Minute. River has written three books of poetry, Jesus Never Lived Here, The Bone of Susan and In Which I Lost 1000 Pounds as well as The Goddess: A Guide to Feminine Wisdom. Her book, A Positive Life, was the recipient of The Dorthea Lange/ Paul Taylor Award, The Golden Lights award and is used in classrooms around the world. In 1995 she was Honored with a Doctorate of Humanities from Albright College in recognition of her work in the in the community. She has written for the Chicago Tribune, many women's magazines and was a regular sex columnist for POZ magazine for the last 14 years. She currently blogs at thebody.org. She wrote, directed and performed her one women show, Sex, Cellulite and Large Farm Equipment: One Girls Guide to Living and Dying off off Broadway and continues to tour the country using her performances to help raise funds for non-profit agencies nationwide. For more information about River you can go to www.riverhuston.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
River Huston and Mary Berridge, A Positive Life: Portraits of Women Living with HIV (Running Press, 1997)

It's rare that I can't think of a way to review a book. This is one of those times.

Perhaps I'm just reading too much into the title. I keep seeing "A Positive Life" as a double-entendre, not just about living with HIV, but as some sort of resolute looking forward. And there is some of that here, to be sure, but there is also bitterness, anger, cynicism, and fear. Another reviewer said that this book "...helps us to remember that these people really are no different than the rest of us." Indeed.

The reader also goes on to say that River Huston is an amazing lady, and having published her first chapbook, I can honestly say "THAT's damn right," but Huston is, aside from a brief introductory passage, nowhere to be found here. (Rather surprising; I would have thought she'd have gone for a self-interview here, as she's the most positive person, from an outlook point of view, I've ever met, with or without HIV.) Like Hal Gold in Unit 731: Testimony or Georges Bataille in The Trial of Gilles de Rais, when the subjects start speaking, the author fades into the background and lets them tell their own stories, and keeps so far out of the spotlight that there's not even a particular editorial style to be found here; you get the idea that what you see is raw, unexpurgated transcriptions of microcassettes. I doubt it, as the pieces here are quite short, but the effect is there.

I was originally going to slag it slightly for being too short, clocking in at just under a hundred twenty pages, but the simple fact is that what's here is just about enough. There is a relentless, crushing power to these stories, both in their differences and in their similarities, to the point where the reader may find himself either numbed or on the verge of breakdown, given two or three hundred pages.

Worth your time. ***
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By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was brought to tears by many of the stories in this book. In addition to the power of the stories, the pictures capture the essence of the subjects and help us to remember that these people are really no different than the rest of us. River Huston is an amazing lady and I think she did an awesome job helping the reader relate to these women from all walks of life. I would definately recommend this book, it will forever change the way you view your own life!
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Format: Hardcover
The portraits in this book brings HIV into focus in a way I have never seen before. The stories of these women call into question the assumption that the women who get HIV are very different from you and I. Every teenage woman who reads these short biographies will better understand that she too is at risk.
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