The University of Wisconsin Press

Biography / Art / AIDS


Loss within Loss
Artists in the Age of AIDS
Edited by Edmund White
In Cooperation with the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS

Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiography
David Bergman, Joan Larkin, and Raphael Kadushin, Series Editors

"A poignant reminder of the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the arts."—Krista Ivy, Library Journal

"A searing, and often bitingly funny collection of personal essays by almost two dozen writersJohn Berendt, Brad Gooch, Allan Gurganus, and Sarah Schulman among them— Loss within Loss remembers over twenty creative artists lost to AIDS in the past twenty years, including poet James Merrill, filmmaker Derek Jarman, and painter and writer David Wojnarowicz. . . . A reflective, self-possessed, and frequently inspiring testimonial, benefiting from the perspective that only time provides."—David Bahr, The Advocate

"An extraordinary achievement of witness."
—Tim Miller, author of Shirts & Skin

Edmund White is professor of creative writing at Princeton University and the author of The Married Man, A Boy's Own Story, and many other books.

Additional Information:

When an artist dies we face two great losses: the person and the work he did not live to do. Loss within Loss  is a moving collaboration by some of America's most eloquent writers, who supply wry, raging, sorrowful, and buoyant accounts of artist friends and lovers struck down by AIDS. These essayists include Maya Angelou, Alan Gurganus, Brad Gooch, John Berendt, Craig Lucas, Robert Rosenblum, and eighteen others. Many of the subjects of the essays were already prominent—James Merrill, Paul Monette, David Wojnarowicz—but many others died young, before they were able to fulfil the promise of their lives and art. Loss within Loss spans all of the arts and includes portraits of choreographers, painters, poets, actors, playwrights, sculptors, editors, composers, and architects.

This landmark book is published in association with the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a national organization that preserves art works created by artists living with HIV or lost to AIDS. Loss within Loss stands as a powerful reminder of the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the arts community and as the first real survey of that devastation. Though these accounts are often intensely sad, Loss within Loss is an invigorating, sometimes even exuberant, testimony to the sheer joy of being an artist . . . and being alive.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

The cover of White's book is white, with an inset blue-toned photo of a man sitting nude in a chair.

February 2002

LC: 00-011012 NX
312 pp.   6 x 9
27 b/w illus.  

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The cloth edition ISBN 978-0-299-17070-7 is out of print.

"This volume, published with the support of the leading nonprofit serving HIV-positive artists, is a poignant reminder of the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic on the arts."

—Krista Ivy, Library Journal

"These writers pierce the inner sanctum of pain as filmmakers, poets, painters, writers, and choreographers are eulogized and celebrated for their aspirations and achievements in lives cut short by the AIDS pandemic."
—Robert Ellsworth, Genre

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Updated June 21, 2013

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