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Book Title: The Gifts of the Body|
The author of the book: Rebecca Brown
Edition: Harper Perennial
Date of issue: August 4th 1995
Loaded: 2855 times
Reader ratings: 4.8
ISBN 13: 9780060926533
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 938 KB
City - Country: No data
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A naive description of the early days of the HIV epidemic and what caring for those dying people was like. Well-written and honest, compelling in its honesty, still this book reflects the early days in that it romanticizes the disease and those dying of it. As one who works with HIV patients every day, I can honestly say that dying of this disease does not inherently ennoble one any more than dying of bladder cancer or being run down by a truck.
One reason I feel it is dangerous to suggest that a particular disease is special is because when it becomes unspecial, all of that wonderful funding disappears, all of those celebrity fundraisers stop happening, and those who are still living with a suddenly unpopular disease are left without the basic necessities for living their lives. Another reason it can be hazardous to give a disease celebrity status is that one who is diagnosed with it may not want to live up to the billing the disease gets. What is needed in this world is a rational rather than an emotional response to disease. In the final analysis, HIV is a virus, and nothing more. It has no mind with which to care who it infects, and it singles out no population.
Right now, breast cancer is going through this same treatment; it is the disease-of-the-month, so to speak. God knows, any funds which can be devoted to this condition are sorely needed and far overdue. But watch closely what happens as it loses its cache and becomes just another condition. Will we then begin to see Bono hosting the Concert for Bird Flu?
Don't get me wrong; in its own way, this is a wonderful book, and for the time it was written was quite courageous. But I hope we have moved past this simplistic rendering and have found a place in our hearts for all those who suffer, even from diseases and conditions that don't give us the opportunity to write such books. I mean, would she have written this way about colorectal cancer? Somehow, I doubt it.
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Read information about the authorRebecca Brown’s diverse oeuvre contains collections of essays and short stories, a fictionalized autobiography, a modern bestiary, a memoir in the guise of a medical dictionary, a libretto for a dance opera, a play, and various kinds of fantasy.
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