Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. “Wrenching in its detail, this account of the author’s Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir by [Monette, Paul]. Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir. Paul Monette, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $22 (p) ISBN A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Borrowed Time was one of This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Borrowed Time by Paul Monette. This “tender and lyrical” memoir New York Times Book Review remains one of the most compelling documents of the AIDS era-“searing, shattering, ultimately hope inspiring account of a great love story” San Francisco Examiner.
Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Borrowed Timeplease sign up. Lists with This Book. P “What am I going to do without him? View all 8 comments. Nov 26, Ivan rated it it was amazing. I don’t know how this book didn’t win every award the publishing world has to offer. Quite simply, this one volume is the most emotionally devastating work I’ve ever read.
I’ve read about hate crimes, political assassination and Nazi persecution, but none touch this. Several times I had to set the book down because I was no longer able to read through great, racking sobs and eyes nearly swollen shut.
Paul Monette, author of the the award winning memoir “Becoming a Man: Half a Life Sto I don’t know how this book didn’t win every award the publishing world has to offer. That he was able to focus so much energy on chronicling the events of Roger’s death in this memoir, was a mircle – and indeed this book is a miraclous gift. However, and more importantly, it is a love story – the greatest I’ve ever read.
People seem to think the ‘war’ against AIDS is over, done and dusted. We are not yet free. All these years after Paul and Roger passed away the battle is still being fought in different places and in different ways.
Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
The war that Paul Monette and Roger Horwitz fought is far from over and their story is a reminder that we shouldn’t give up because we still have a long way to go. One of the things that challenges me about this story is the way in which it has become in part my story, my People seem to think the ‘war’ against AIDS is over, done and dusted.
One of the things that challenges me about this story is the way in which it has become in part my story, my life. A part of my life which is very painful for all kinds of reasons and yet also a part monette my life in which there is hope. I was a young girl in the early days of the Aids pandemic when Roger and Paul were fighting the ‘war’. I was stuck in a boarding school in the middle of nowhere in Africa.
I was caught up in monettte very difficult marriage, child birth and then divorce. It borrowd until the mid-nineties that HIV and Aids borroqed to hit my radar and even then it was something distant, something that I didn’t understand. I couldn’t understand how the same disease was cutting down gay men in the global North and cutting down Africans in the global South especially African women, my beautiful, beautiful sisters who died in their millions, leaving millions of children borrrowed.
I couldn’t yet join the dots and I had far too many difficulties in my own life to stop, to pause and to try to mondtte the bigger picture.
But HIV and Aids was there, reaping havoc, destroying families, devastating lives. It wasn’t until that I really began to understand and personally experience the devastation that is Aids.
I did research into HIV services in London and I had the privilege of meeting many people living with HIV and the sterling organisations working for prevention, treatment and seeking to address HIV related stigma and discrimination.
I was divorced, free and able to pause and finally able to listen to the lives of others and to hold my beautiful sisters and brothers and work alongside them. I was appalled to hear what people had gone through in the early days of the pandemic. I was appalled by the initial silence and condemnation of many churches. I was appalled by the complacency of certain Governments and the ignorance and myths that still abounded. I was appalled by the numbers of people who had died.
I began to involve myself in the response and I opened my heart to my African sisters and gay brothers and I became a soldier just like Paul and Roger. Now years later responding to HIV and Aids is a major part of my life. I am grateful that I had a chance to put my own shoulder to the wheel and join the millions of people who are pushing against the injustice that lies at the heart of the HIV and Aids pandemic but there is a big part of me that regrets not being there at the beginning.
There is a big part of me that still experiences pain when I read about the loss from the early years and the losses that still happen because it isn’t over yet. This book is a testament to the early days of the Aids pandemic: It is easy to look back and lament over what should have been done but this book should serve as a reminder about what is still to be done.
There is still fear, denial and now much more complacency. There is still injustice. Paul Monette and his beloved partner Roger Horwitz are gone along with 36 million others but 35 million are still alive and living with HIV, and the millions that are dead should spur us to keep alive the millions who are still with us.
This book serves as a prophetic voice calling us to remember and not forget. Calling us to act in whatever way is possible for us and it has called me to keep acting and praying. Some of this story makes me angry. Paul and Roger were privileged and well-educated. They were able to access drug trials and push for treatment. They were able to spread the word and help others and in this way they contributed to the progress of the development of the treatment that keeps people alive today, but thirty years on we are still fighting the ‘war’ for access to treatment and so many people in countries with weak health systems are still dying.
We still fight ‘wars’ about prevention strategies. We know how to prevent the transmission of HIV but utterly stupid debates about condoms and promiscuity have overshadowed the urgency of saving lives.
Religious and political ideologies have become more important monehte saving lives and finding ways to help people who have limited choices and limited access to economic and health stability. We still fight ‘wars’ about stigma, discrimination and human rights as so many Governments criminalise HIV transmission and criminalise homosexuality.
Imprisoning people and silencing them, eroding their human rights is nonette waging war against the people not the virus. Blind and stupid leaders, rotten in their hatred and complacency they are paralysed by their ideologies and fail to hear the cries and struggles of the millions of people in need. Thirty something years on the ‘war’ that Paul and Roger fought continues along different perhaps more subtle and less visible battle gime.
But along with sadness and pain and anger, as I read this story I am grateful.
Borrowwed is gratitude, gratitude that Roger and Paul were able to find love and create borroeed with each other, gratitude that they had the love of their families and friends, gratitude that these two beautiful men were able to live their lives to the fullest despite the fact that Aids cut both of them down in such an monefte way. I am grateful that they did not die alone and that they were able to gain access to the limited treatments available at the time.
I want to remember those many people who died and who were affected and the many still living with the virus. In this way I can bogrowed into the frustration and the fear of the early days of the pandemic and I can use this to continue to work for a future hope. So this is my small response to this beautiful and yet challenging testimony. The author is no longer with us but his words remain and his story remains. It is a privilege to read his words. I am privileged to be able to hug and encourage the many positive people who are living and who are now my family and I am hugged and loved by them.
They moonette my life today and the words of Paul Monette enrich my understanding of our journey and ‘wars’ together. His words awaken an ever deepening thirst in me for justice and a desire that everyone may have abundant life and not be excluded because they are positive, or gay or female or African.
This is my dream and I hope the words from the battle front, the words from Paul Monette will continue to give me the energy and courage to dream and to write, to speak and to pray and to act. View all 6 comments. Oct 23, Terry rated it it was amazing. I loved anything Paul Monette wrote during his short lifetime, but Borrowed Time was so deeply personal, so painful, and so sadly mournful that I always come back to this one for a reread.
As a nurse who cared for AIDS patients during the 80s and at the height of the experience,too many times I saw Paul’s story in my patients and my friends.
Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir
The tkme pages where Roger begins to become ill to the final pages of his death left me reminded of my own experiences with lost friends. Sadly, Paul Mo I loved anything Paul Monette wrote during his short lifetime, but Borrowed Time was so deeply personal, so painful, and so sadly mournful that I always come borrowe to this one for a reread. Sadly, Paul Monette’s experience and his own eventual death from HIV a few years later are reflected in the experiences of monehte of us. Imagine two infected men taking care of each other – both sick, both frightened, but both strong in their desire to live while they still could.
Maybe you had to be old enough to have lived through the 80s and the early years of the epidemic to fully appreciate how frightening those years were.
Monette wrote of the experience and his many losses with such simple dignity and such love that it brought tears to my eyes. There is a renewal of interest in what is now called “The Early Years” of AIDS and the death of a generation of innocent victims — victims of the disease, of apathy, of political apathy and murder.
Regardless of your own perceptions of the AIDS experience, this book is not to be missed if you want to know how it really was during a decade when there was no hope. Apr 29, Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing Shelves: I’ll never forget the two days I spent reading Paul and Roger’s story. Love, even more so. I cried a lot, but now I’m going to move on and try to celebrate the little victories. I wish I could have read this book inwhen my mother was dying of leukemia.
Some years leave a dent in the bark of your soul. To love is to stand a chance of losing. View all 7 comments.