Paul Monette’s fierce and arresting collection of poems on the death of his partner from AIDS
Following his partner Roger Horwitz’s death from AIDS in 1986, Paul Monette threw himself into these elegies. Writing them, he says, “quite literally kept me alive.” Both beautifully written and deeply affecting, every poem is full of anger, sorrow, tenderness, and a palpable sense of grief. With graceful language and emotional acuity, Paul Monette captures the enormity of a loss that ravaged a generation. But even more than they are about tragedy, these poems are about love. Each moving line is full of love for one who is no longer there, but whose presence is still achingly felt at every turn. Love Alone is remarkable for its honesty, its passion, and its depth.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Paul Monette including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the Paul Monette papers of the UCLA Library Special Collections.
“Love Alone seems to me to be some of the most powerful and astonishing writing I have ever encountered in my long reading life. . . . These texts constitute a monumental addition to the literature of grief and the clarification of mourning.” —Richard Howard
“Scathing, caustic, brilliant.” —Andrew Holleran
“These are gorgeous, heartbreaking screams—such beauty from such pain and loss and agony—and I want everyone to hear them, every cowardly bastard in Washington who helps us die, every person in the world who doesn’t know that men love men majestically, beautifully, heroically.” —Larry Kramer
“Written ‘for those who are mad with loss,’ it stands apart from its predecessors, and indeed from most contemporary poetry, in both intent and execution. The poems use remembered episodes to celebrate ‘that two men ceased to be single,’ but more often ride express the rage felt during Rog’s dying and the ache of being the remaining half of a couple.” —Library Journal
“It is a primal howl of pain, rage, and loss. It is Art. It is frightening. . . . This belongs in your library.” —Frontiers
Paul Monette (1945–1995) was an author, poet, and gay rights activist. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Yale University, he moved with his partner Roger Horwitz to Los Angeles in 1978 and became involved in the gay rights movement. Monette’s writing captures the sense of heartbreak and loss at the center of the AIDS crisis. His first novel, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, was published in 1978, and he went on to write several more works of fiction, poetry, and memoir. Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir, the tender account of his partner’s battle with the disease, earned him both PEN Center West and Lambda Literary Awards. In 1992, Monette won the National Book Award in Nonfiction for Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, an autobiography detailing his early life and his struggle with his sexuality. Written as a classic coming-of-age story, Becoming a Man became a seminal coming-out story. In 1995, Monette founded the Monette-Horwitz Trust, which honors individuals and organizations working to combat homophobia. Monette died in his home in West Hollywood in 1995 of complications from AIDS.