Writing AIDS: Gay Literature, Language, and Analysis

Murphy, T. F. & Poirier, S., eds.

Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction

Genre: Collection (Essays)

Annotated by:
Stanford, Ann Folwell
  • Date of entry: Jul-03-1998
  • Last revised: Dec-12-2006


This collection is introduced with an essay by Suzanne Poirier (editor of the journal, Literature and Medicine). The collection, describes Poirier, looks at how such equations as "sex = disease, homosexuality = disease, promiscuity = disease, and, finally, homosexuality = promiscuity = disease" are, in fact, being challenged, resisted, and "rewritten in a healing way in today's writing about the epidemic [found] in the literary presses, obituary columns, and even freshman compositions." The book contains thirteen essays and an annotated bibliography of AIDS literature from 1982 through 1991.


The essays in this volume cover a wide range of topics such as the rhetoric of AIDS activism, teaching freshman composition using AIDS as a theme, the language of war in AIDS discourse, plague in Germany, AIDS writing in France, studies of literature (Edmund White, Paul Monette, and others), Black nationalism and homophobia, and narratives of AIDS on television, among others. The book's essays, according to Poirier, attempt to offer "testimony that the personal tragedies of AIDS must not be allowed to destroy or defeat love, joy, or hope." Such essays and the extensive annotated bibliography represent a valuable resource for medical educators and scholars.


Columbia Univ. Press

Place Published

New York




Timothy F. Murphy & Suzanne Poirier

Page Count