Fire in the Belly

The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz
Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz. Bloomsbury, dist. by Macmillan. Jul. 2012. c.640p. photogs. bibliog. ISBN 9781596915336. $35. FINE ARTS
Former Village Voice columnist Carr (Our Town: A Heartland Lynching, a Haunted Town, and the Hidden History of White America) weaves an intense if sometimes over-detailed portrait of a complex artist in a complex time. Carr knew David Wojnarowicz (1954–92), the controversial creator of the art film A Fire in My Belly, and she bears him witness in this politically charged look at his life. She writes of his painful life and prolific career as a poet, artist, and activist before he died from AIDS at age 37, and, at the same time, she documents the rise and fall of the East Village arts scene in the 1980s. Using her skills as a reporter, Carr has pieced together this moving though unsentimental tribute from interviews with friends, candid conversations with Wojnarowicz before his death, and his own deep and provocative writings. She also discusses the politics then and now that dominate the so-called culture wars.
VERDICT An up-close look at the devastation of AIDS, this first full-length biography explains Wojnarowicz's powerful iconography in the context of a (literally) dying art scene. Recommended for art and queer studies scholars. [See Prepub Alert, 1/21/12.]
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing