New York: The Noonday Press, 1991. 1st Book Edition. Small quarto, publisher's illustrated stiff paper wraps over plain white wraps, french flaps, illustrated endpapers.
"I was thinking, Ursula said, that the difference between a story and a painting or photograph is that in a story you can write, He's still alive. But in a painting or a photo you can't show 'still.' You can just show him being alive." Signed standalone printing of this epochal short story (originally published in the New Yorker to great acclaim in 1987), in which American writer and critic Susan Sontag deftly recreates the horror and hysteria of the 1980s AIDS crisis. The narrative is predominantly composed of fragments of dialogue among a small group of upwardly mobile friends in New York as they discover that a member of their circle has been claimed by an unnamed disease. Sontag began writing the story the night she learned one of her friends had been diagnosed with AIDS. Shaken from the news, she took a bath, and the story began to materialize: "It was given to me, ready to be born. I got out of the bathtub and started to write very quickly standing up. I wrote the story very quickly, in two days, drawing on experiences of my own cancer and a friend's stroke," she told Kenny Fries of the San Francisco Bay Times. Gorgeous reproductions of four folding colored etchings and endpapers by British artist Howard Hodgkin, created specifically to accompany the text. Signed by Sontag on the half-title. Fine. Item #1772