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Extended Audio Sample Visions and Revisions: Coming of Age in the Age of AIDS, by Dale Peck Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dale Peck Narrator: Jeff Woodman Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Novelist and critic Dale Peck’s latest work—part memoir, part extended essay—is a foray into what the author calls “the second half of the first half of the AIDS epidemic,” i.e., the period between 1987, when the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) was founded, and 1996, when the advent of combination therapy transformed AIDS from a virtual death sentence into a chronic manageable illness.

Reminiscent of Joan Didion’s The White Album and Kurt Vonnegut’s Palm Sunday, Visions and Revisions is a sweeping, collage-style portrait of a tumultuous era. Moving seamlessly from the lyrical to the analytical to the reportorial, Peck’s story takes readers from the serial killings of gay men in New York, London, and Milwaukee, through Peck’s first loves upon coming out of the closet, to the transformation of LGBT people from marginal, idealistic fighters to their present place in a world of widespread, if fraught, mainstream acceptance.

The narrative pays particular attention to the words and deeds of AIDS activists, offering a street-level portrait of ACT UP with considerations of AIDS-centered fiction and criticism of the era, as well as intimate, sometimes elegiac portraits of artists, activists, and HIV-positive people Peck knew.

Peck’s fiery rhetoric against a government that sat on its hands for the first several years of the epidemic is tinged with the idealism of a young gay man discovering his political, artistic, and sexual identity. The result is a visionary and indispensable work from one of America’s most brilliant and controversial authors.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Raw and heartfelt.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A powerful, gritty social commentary complemented by the author’s coming-of-age story as a young adult during this tumultuous time. Recommended for progressive biography and memoir readers, human rights activists, and contemporary American history enthusiasts.”

    Library Journal

  • “Death is present throughout this intense narrative, but it appears as a theme with particularly dark power in Peck’s gutsy paralleling of the devastating impact of AIDS on the gay community with the horrors of gay serial killers of the era… Peck contrasts his findings about this tragic and frightening time of ignorance, discrimination, fear, suffering, and lack of compassion and support with today’s far more enlightened attitudes toward illness, health care, and LGBT people.”

    Booklist

  • “Dale Peck uses every weapon in his considerable arsenal, from criticism to journalism to memoir, in order to close the gap in our understanding of what it was like to live at the tail end of the time when AIDS was almost always lethal…The result is a book that’s both necessary and exhilarating to read.”

    Emily Gould, author of Friendship

  • “History as clarion call, memoir as revolution; Visions and Revisions is a book powerfully alive with a story that needed not just to be written but to be interrogated with honesty, courage, and no small amount of defiance. Unforgettable in its detail, moving in its truth, acerbic at all the right moments and open at its very core: Dale Peck has made something extraordinary.”

    Belinda McKeon, author of Tender

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