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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

January 30, 1994|Michael Dorris

POSITIVE LIVES: RESPONSES TO HIV: A Photodocumentary edited by Stephen Mayes and Lyundall Stein, forward by Edmund White. (Cassell AIDS Awareness Series: $29.95, 144 pp.) Pictures may not be "worth" words, but they can certainly augment and enrich a text. In this gripping and unflinching book, sponsored by the Terrence Higgins Trust, 13 chapters by as many authors provide a broad glimpse into the varied worlds of people with AIDS. Invited by vivid black-and-white and color photographs, we gain access to the perspectives and contexts of parents, lovers, health care providers, friends--all defiantly, vibrantly alive, even in the face of fear and suffering. The images are memorable both in their beauty and in their underpinnings of sadness, but nothing in "Positive Lives" cracks a reader's heart more deeply than Edmund White's wise and elegant introduction. In a gentle, elegiac tribute to his lover, Hubert Sorin, White tells of a gifted young architect who, in response to illness, became a cartoonist and created, through inspiring the laughter of others, a profoundly healing balm.

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