Four Favorites 4: Sarah Schulman recommends books about the experience of AIDS

Yesterday we wrote a brief piece on ACT UP Oral History Project and their new homepage, with almost 200 filmed interviews with members of ACT UP, New York. And we wrote Sarah Schulman, one of the founders of ACT UP Oral History Project, asking if she would like to recommend books on the AIDS experience. Thank you Sarah! This is her recommendations:


KOOLAIDS is the story of an artist with AIDS living in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War. It situates AIDS globally and addresses it formally. A really fantastic book by one of our greatest writers, Alameddine Rabih.


Essex Hemphill was our most prominent Black gay poet. With Joseph Beam (RIP) he pioneered Black gay male writing and with Marlon Riggs (RIP) he was a collaborator in iconic Black gay films like No Regrets and Tongues Untied.

Selected Poems (1993–2005)

Tory Dent was a white, straight woman poet with AIDS. She represents a voice and experience that is rarely heard and her books made a big impact in its time.


David Feinberg was an acerbic novelist who was a member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) New York. Eighty-Sixed, is one of his novels.


A Quilt for David by Steven Reigns is a stunning new work that memorializes a person with AIDS who became a nationally stigmatized figure, and a symbol of AIDS hysteria.

Sarah Schulman & Ola Wihlke

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