The savage, beautiful, and unforgettable memoirs of an extraordinary artist, activist, and iconoclast who lit up the New York art scene in the late 20th century
David Wojnarowicz's brief but eventful life was not easy. From a suburban adolescence marked by neglect, drugs, prostitution, and abuse to a squalid life on the streets of New York City, to fame - and infamy - as an activist and controversial visual artist whose work was lambasted in the halls of Congress, all before his early death from AIDS at age 37, Wojnarowicz seemed to be at war with a homophobic "establishment" and the world itself. Yet what emerged from the darkness was a truly extraordinary artist and human being - an angry young man of remarkable poetic sensibilities who was inordinately sympathetic to those who, like him, lived and struggled outside society's boundaries.
Close to the Knives is his searing yet strangely beautiful account told in a collection of powerful essays. An author whom reviewers have compared to Kerouac and Genet, David Wojnarowicz mesmerizes, horrifies, and delights in equal measure with his unabashed honesty. At once savage and funny, poignant and sexy, compassionate and unforgiving, his words and stories cut like knives, leaving indelible marks on all who listen to them.
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- John F. Herberger
Visceral raw emotion walking alongside mindful self reflection
Abuse, survival sex work, HIV/AIDS - before meds, addiction, the search to make meaning and be heard, be counted and the oppressive Reagan-Bush years.
I loved this book. Not for the faint of heart
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