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June 24 , 2009

Fire in the Belly

The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz


“[Fire in the Belly is] unimprovable as a biography—thorough, measured, beautifully written, loving but not uncritical—as a concentrated history of his times, and as a memorial.” —Luc Sante, Bookforum

David Wojnarowicz was an abused child, a teen runaway who barely finished high school, but he emerged as one of the most important voices of his generation. He found his tribe in New York’s East Village, a neighborhood noted in the 1970s and ’80s for drugs, blight, and a burgeoning art scene. His creativity spilled out in paintings, photographs, films, texts, installations, and in his life and its recounting—creating a sort of mythos around himself. His circle of East Village artists moved into the national spotlight just as the AIDS plague began its devastating advance, and as right-wing culture warriors reared their heads. As Wojnarowicz’s reputation as an artist grew, so did his reputation as an agitator—because he dealt so openly with his homosexuality, so angrily with his circumstances as a Person With AIDS, and so fiercely with his would-be censors.

Fire in the Belly is the untold story of a polarizing figure at a pivotal moment in American culture—and one of the most highly acclaimed biographies of the year.
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