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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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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

AIDS Memoirs Out of the City

AIDS Memoirs Out of the City

Discordant Natures

(p.31) 2. AIDS Memoirs Out of the City
Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction

Heather Houser

Columbia University Press

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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