Wojnarowicz should be on every bookshelf. A prominent AIDS activist (Wojnarowicz was famously sued for calling the conservative senator Jesse Helms a homophobic cannibal) and legend of the mythical 80's Lower East Side art scene, Wojnarowicz writes with the grace of James Baldwin, the overblown, uncouth attitude of Kathy Acker, and a heart wrenching rage that is his alone. This book is essential American history.
In Close to the Knives, David Wojnarowicz gives us an important and timely document: a collection of creative essays -- a scathing, sexy, sublimely humorous and honest personal testimony to the "Fear of Diversity in America." From the author's violent childhood in suburbia to eventual homelessness on the streets and piers of New York City, to recognition as one of the most provocative artists of his generation -- Close to the Knives is his powerful and iconoclastic memoir. Street life, drugs, art and nature, family, AIDS, politics, friendship and acceptance: Wojnarowicz challenges us to examine our lives -- politically, socially, emotionally, and aesthetically.
About the Author
David Wojnarowicz was an American painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and AIDS activist prominent in the New York City art world. He was born on September 14, 1954. He died of AIDS on July 22, 1992.
"David Wojnarowicz is brilliantly attuned to American talk and responsive to the moods and innovations of society's truants. He also has the best conscience of any writer I know. This fierce, erotic, haunting, truthful book should be given to every teenager immediately." -- Dennis Cooper
"Wojnarowicz's writing fairly smokes with acrid ironies. It's passionate and personal." -- New York
"Everyone should read Close to the Knives to understand the overall political agenda behind suffering, whether that suffering occurs because of a dysfunctional family, religion, or government. Wojnarowicz explores all of his painful life experiences as a plea for all of us to become more compassionate and caring human beings. This isn't just David's story, it's our story, our nation's story." -- Karen Finley