The University of Wisconsin Press

Gay Interest / Memoir / AIDS


The Hurry-Up Song
A Memoir of Losing My Brother
Clifford Chase

Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiographies

An AIDS memoir on the power and limitations of family love

"As Chase examines his life in language that is simple yet powerful, he is never less than brutally honest—especially with himself."—The Newsweek

"Exceptionally inventive, moving . . . Chase has written an honest memoir."—Village Voice

"Multilayered and beautifully written."—The Advocate

"A quiet, eloquent memoir."—Kirkus Reviews

"Scrupulously honest, beautifully crafted."—Bay Booklist

"A wonderful book . . . . Chase's story has a rueful charm; his voice is immediately convincing."—Bay Area Reporter

Out of love, anger, and grief Clifford Chase has crafted a moving and brilliant memoir of loss and family bonds. With startling honesty, he evokes scenes of life in a suburban American family and illuminates the strong ties that are woven between two gay brothers as they become adults. Chase documents how, in turn, the family dynamics change forever when one brother—the elder, the admired, the feared, the loved—weathers AIDS-related illnesses and ultimately dies. This is a searching, unsentimental account of how AIDS steals away loved ones and how the wounds of loss come to be healed.

"I read this book straight through, hypnotized by its scrupulous sincerity."—Edmund White


"It was on a family trip. My father and Uncle Pete were in one car, with Ken and my oldest brother, Paul, in the wide backseat. Following in the next car was my mother, who was driving, and Aunt Helen and my two sisters. My father and uncle got involved in conversation and weren't watching the boys. Nor did the men notice that the doors were unlocked. Apparently Ken grew restless and decided to experiment with the door handle.

So, driving along a two-lane highway at sixty miles an hour, my mother sees my two brothers fly out of the car ahead of her. She swerved, my sisters say, to avoid the boys as they rolled on the pavement."

Clifford Chase is a writer living in Brooklyn. He is the editor of Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade and has contributed fiction to Yale Review, Threepenny Review, Boulevard, and other journals and anthologies.

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August 1999
236 pp.   6 x 9   
8 cartoons
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Paper $18.95 t
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