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Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. FictionEnvironment and Affect$
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Heather Houser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165143

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165143.001.0001

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AIDS Memoirs Out of the City

AIDS Memoirs Out of the City

Discordant Natures

Chapter:
(p.31) 2. AIDS Memoirs Out of the City
Source:
Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction
Author(s):

Heather Houser

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231165143.003.0002

This chapter offers an account of an unanalyzed mode of writing about HIV/AIDS. Pushing against the metrocentricity of U.S. AIDS literature and scholarship, a body of nonurban AIDS memoirs took the disease out of the city in the 1990s. These stories figure the disconnection between lived experience of AIDS and consensus knowledge about it, and show how affect produces irritations that unsettle conceptual categories. Specifically, David Wojnarowicz's Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration (1991) and Jan Zita Grover's North Enough: AIDS and Other Clear-Cuts (1997) stage unexpected environmental encounters that produce discord. These memoirs model how the irritations of discord generate a productive form of suspicion that confers experiential epistemic authority onto sick bodies enmeshed in their surroundings.

Keywords:   HIV, AIDS, AIDS literature, AIDS memoirs, David Wojnarowicz, Close to the Knives, Jan Zita Grover, North Enough, sick bodies, discord

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