cover image Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited: AIDS and Its Aftermath

Chronicle of a Plague, Revisited: AIDS and Its Aftermath

Andrew Holleran, . . Da Capo, $16 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-452-26236-2

Holleran (Dancer from the Dance ) has expanded and rereleased his classic collection of 1988 Christopher Street essays for a generation for whom the 1980s New York AIDS epidemic may seem “as exotic as ancient Egypt.” Holleran recreates “that vanished time and place: gay New York, when no one knew the way out” in his tender elegies for his dead and dying friends, in masterfully rendered imagery—a polluted Fire Island shore mirrors a sea of potentially diseased partners—and in examining the paradoxes of survival—a French journalist transcends “the mediocrity and materialism” of his previous life by writing an internationally renowned novel on the very disease that's killing him. Confusion and terror radiate from these pages, and humor of the blackest variety predominates (a young man endows a rubber in his pants pocket with the talismanic quality of “a crucifix in a land of vampires”). While Holleran may be correct that the only thing anyone wants to read about AIDS is “CURE FOUND,” his essays—originally titled Ground Zero —stunningly illuminate New Yorkers coping with modern tragedy. (June)