- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 27, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679765557
- ISBN-13: 978-0679765554
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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First Comes Love Paperback – May 27, 1997
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"Gritty, funny, moving, horrific, outrageous—and, above all, fearlessly honest... ultimately a joyous story."-Newsday
Decidedly unfaint-hearted... Marion Winik is resilient, hardy, unfazable; this self-described suburban wannabe is a frontier woman in disguise."- The New York Times Book Review
"A true story stripped of fine writing or cheap analysis.... I won't be the only reader who can't put it down."- San Francisco Chronicle
"Beautiful... intense and intimate."- Washington Post Book World
From the Inside Flap
From National Public Radio commentator Marion Winik, author of Telling, comes a memoir of breathtaking candor--an affecting yet rigorously unsentimental story of the extraordinary passion between a straight woman and a gay man. "Decidedly unfaint-hearted."--The New York Times Book Review.
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The female author falls in love with Tony, a beautiful, funny, fringey, drug-addicted, HIV positive gay man. Maybe she sees what's coming but it doesn't matter. She's looking past pedestrian predictability, agressively fixed on some irresistible, incandescent feeling: she looks at him, she feels the glow-she turns away, it's gone. Who could blame her for not turning away?
The narrator was herself a junky, although not apparently an addict. She pops and gulps and shoots up with an enthusiasm that makes your veins quiver. You may have noticed that addicts end up subtracting themselves from life: the addict-passion wins out over everything else. Winik somehow uses her drugs as connectors, they amplify her passion for her fun, to her friends, for her darling.
The writing is passionate too: heartfelt, witty and graceful. I wonder if there was some journal-keeping as its foundation: if so, then let’s keep more journals and write down the passions.
But passion only cheats matter out of its glory for a while. Disillusion, anger, estrangement and death are in Marion Winik’s passions and in this story too.
So her story is sad and real. Sad enough that we can't pretend it's just a story-there's a life here. No stock characters, no set piece scenes. We've been invited in as readers. We've chuckled and rejoiced at the passion and so we're lift with the pain in that life. (This is a story that's too richly textured, too nuanced to be fiction. The story is so real, and the reader's involvement in it so intense that you just can't just close the book-even when it's over.)
What we're left with is a sense of amazement, gratitude and wonder at just how big and how complicated love can be.
On the rare occasions that I read a book this compelling and this well-written, I usually rush to push it into a friend's hand. First Comes Love is different. This is a book I'm going to keep.