The Gifts of the Body An emotionally wrenching work of fiction about a health care worker who tenders compassion and love to victims of AIDS by an author who strips her language of convention to lay bare the ferocious rit

  • Title: The Gifts of the Body
  • Author: Rebecca Brown
  • ISBN: 9780060926533
  • Page: 212
  • Format: Paperback
  • An emotionally wrenching work of fiction about a health care worker who tenders compassion and love to victims of AIDS, by an author who strips her language of convention to lay bare the ferocious rituals of love and need New York Times Book Review

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      Posted by:Rebecca Brown
      Published :2018-06-01T13:41:13+00:00

    One thought on “The Gifts of the Body”

    1. A naive description of the early days of the HIV epidemic and what caring for those dying people was like. Well-written and honest, compelling in its honesty, still this book reflects the early days in that it romanticizes the disease and those dying of it. As one who works with HIV patients every day, I can honestly say that dying of this disease does not inherently ennoble one any more than dying of bladder cancer or being run down by a truck.One reason I feel it is dangerous to suggest that a [...]

    2. By one of the overlooked masters of contemporary prose, this book perfectly demonstrates the horrors of the AIDs epidemic and the small kindness one can show in the face of that horror.

    3. Powerful stories from early in the AIDS epidemic from the perspective of a kind, smart home health aid. Fiction based on real life experiences. Interesting too, 20 years later, to note what has and hasn't changed. And of course many others with conditions other than AIDS find themselves in similar need of help and compassion.

    4. I had never heard about this book till I read Will Schwalbe's Books for Living where this book was discussed. The Gifts of the Body is a fictionized account of a home health care aid who assists people with aids. The author was a home-care worker herself so she has much knowledge of what she writes. It is a very moving and sad book which brought tears to my eyes while reading it.

    5. This book is RAW. So simplistically written and yet completely enveloping and immersive. Sad, but not in a melodramatic way. Just pure human emotion that I haven't read in quite some time.

    6. Spoiler alert!To realize this is a piece of fiction reinforces its beauty and impact. It reads so much like memoir or a personal journal that I get caught up in the lives, thinking they are real. I would imagine that somewhere they are. To perform the duties of a profesisonal caregiver to the dying takes a special person, and this narrator is a special person indeed.Even now as I write, my eyes are filling up and spilling over with the reality through simple phrases from the narrator’s client [...]

    7. Ouch, a punch to the gut. This book was pretty harrowing. I think its impact has a lot to do with Brown's plain launguage. I've read works by Rebecca Brown before and was struck by how sparsely worded her stories are, just the basics but so hard-hitting. It takes a clever writer to be able to do what she does with so few words. There's no superfluous waffling, just here's an AIDS patient and this is exactly what it's like. Not that I'd know - it took this book to make me realise how thankful I a [...]

    8. I had never heard of Rebecca Brown before and I think that is rather strange since she is such a good writer; she is a complete revelation to me. I don’t cry easily while reading books but while reading “The Gifts of the Body” and especially at the end of “A Good Man” I cried like a baby. The stories are beautifully written in a clear, simple, even minimalistic style that reaches the reader, right in their hearts. I think this work is so appealing because she is able to describe the gr [...]

    9. a simple & devastating book about caring for other people when they're sick. i appreciate brown's style. at times, i wonder if she's being a little condescending when she notices how some of the people she's caring for can act like children. but then i think about how i act like such a baby when i'm not feeling well & i just want to feel better. and how important it is, for the people who are close to me to both see it & be able to see me as more than that. or i get mad at her for no [...]

    10. Beautiful. True. The end left me weeping. Brown creates strong atmospheres with powerful, spare narratives, used to chilling effect in The Dogs and for a tense, creepy mood in The Terrible Girls. Her style suits difficult subjects. The Gifts of the Body tackles death, dying, pain, fear, grief, the body, and loss in stories of a home care worker assisting AIDS patients on hospice (people deemed to have six months or less to live) in the 80s (Brown was a home-care worker in San Francisco at that t [...]

    11. "The Gifts of the Body" by Rebecca Brown presents an insight into caregiving for terminal AIDS patients. The narrator, of the intersecting short stories, exposes a mixture of empathy and revulsion towards the certain and painful death looming over all of her charges. While each section, or story, is labeled by a different “gift” of the human body Brown represents the manner in which illness strips away these luxuries. The duality of the term gift presents parts of human anatomy and existence [...]

    12. "'Your stomach?' He tried to nod. 'Uh-huh. But everywhere some.'"-The Gift of Sweat "He kept looking at the TV. His eyes didn't change when the commercials came on. They were showing two white socks, but one was really white." "I made myself not say anything, but I couldn't hide how I looked."-The Gift of Tears "But I didn't talk about anybody with anybody else. You weren't supposed to, but I wouldn't anyway. You tried to be only where you were, you tried not to add them up."-The Gift of Speech [...]

    13. A dear friend handed me this book last night saying, I think you will enjoy this. I had never heard of the book or the author. i was transported by the spare beauty of the prose and the intensity of emotion Ms. Brown conveyed. This slim volume, labeled fiction, rings of truth. The story of an AIDS home health care worker in the early 90s, is told through her interactions with several of her clients. It is by turns comic, tragic, touching, insightful, poignant and very real.I read it straight thr [...]

    14. Sparingly written yet extremely heartfelt, Brown's lucid prose sheds light on the intimate daily struggles of those suffering from AIDS. In an attempt to honour their life stories, Brown's homecare worker narrator describes her clients' joys, hopes, dreams, and fears as they await their death, in a searingly poignant fashion. Intensely emotional, Gifts of the Body is an eye-opening account of the very real human lives surviving behind the stigmatized facade of AIDS.

    15. a series of episodes that are humane yet not sentimentalizing which could have easily be done with a subject like AIDS Brown gives us snippets of haunting experiences in a seemingly mundane manner, they are wrapped in simple prose with information so dexterously hidden that one could easily overlook them this is an important work about care

    16. Brown, a former home-care worker, tells a series of interlaced stories about a hospice worker caring for AIDS patients in the early '90s. "Tender" and "intimate" are words I use too much in writing about literature, but few books demonstrate these qualities so magnificently. Despite the heavy subject matter, these are surprisingly engaging little stories. Now: what Brown book should I read next?

    17. a lovely and sensitive contemplation on hospice patients' lives from the narrative of an in-home caregiver. it's thoughtful and beautiful in both sentiment and writing, and brown can sometimes deliver these little gifts of carefully crafted poetry in her writing that leaves you breathless.

    18. This wasn’t a memoir but based on the author’s work as an AIDS homecare worker. It is truly amazing in terms of the preciseness of writing. I read this thinking, there’s nothing else like this out there.

    19. This was written by a home health aide during the late 1980's. She worked in San Francisco exclusively with AIDS patients. How they dealt with their death sentences and the care and love between the patiens, the author and their families and lovers is wonderful.

    20. Absolutely gorgeous. I love the fact that the stories themselves are not at all preachy, and only the titles remind us, quietly, that healthy people are immensely and immeasurably lucky to have the things that they have. Wanted to cry many times, but I was in bed with my ex, so I did not.

    21. An amazing, amazing book. Spare and heartfelt and honest. Written with a restrained simplicity about the deep, painful and complex emotions permeating the process of caring for those at the end of life.

    22. This book opened my eyes to the simple gifts that we take for granted, such as the feeling of a cool breeze on freshly washed skin. Beautifully written. I loved this book, the images have stayed with many years after reading it.

    23. Lovely book and Brown's essays in this collection take me back (painfully) to the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Her sparse prose-style is highly effective with this sort of subject.

    24. I have never had a book bring me through so many visceral and psychological ups and downs as this one. Classically my favorite text and the most honest look at the body I've ever read.

    25. So good, I finished it in just a few hours. Written simply with strong thoughtful sentences sprinkled throughout.

    26. Very good book - not for those faint at heart. Very descriptive of her work with patients dying of AIDS; a good read, but very heart wrenching.

    27. small stories. beautiful. not gut-wrenching, more of a mostly-mundane and hella real silhouette-portrait of a caretaker caring for people with AIDS in the 80s/90s.

    28. less horrifically amazing upsetting relationships between women, more extremely sad but beautiful looks at death and dying.

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