Interviews, Essays, and Resources for The Great Believers

Here are some selected resources for learning more about The Great Believers, the research that went into it, and how you can learn more about HIV/AIDS.


Interviews about The Great Believers 

Selected Print:

LA Times 

Electric Literature 

The Millions 

Kirkus Reviews

Chicago Review of Books 

Writers Bone

Windy City Times 

The Rumpus




Selected Audio:

Here and Now (NPR)

Writers on Writing 

Secret Library Podcast

Inside the Writers Studio



“How to Write Across Difference” for Literary Hub

“A Novel in Five Residencies” for Poets & Writers

“My Book, the Movie” for My Book, the Movie

“Interiority Complex” for Craft 



It is my great hope that if The Great Believers is one of the first things you’ve read about the AIDS crisis, it won’t be the last. Here’s some stuff I think you should read or watch. (Links coming soon.)



When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, by Cleve Jones

How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS, by David France

And the Band Played On, by Randy Shilts. (NB: While that book is beautifully written and incredibly important, it unhelpfully proposed the “Patent Zero” myth, a problematic untruth.)

28: Stories of AIDS in Africa, by Stephanie Nolen



Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir, by Paul Monette

Visions and Revisions: Coming of Age in the Age of AIDS, by Dale Peck

The Sea is Quiet Tonight: A Memoir, by Michael H. Ward

“The Way We Live Now,” by Susan Sontag

Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, by MK Czerwiec (This is a graphic memoir (meaning comics, not gore), by a woman who served as a charge nurse on the AIDS unit at Illinois Masonic—the same unit I write about in The Great Believers.)



The Angel of History, by Rabih Alameddine

Monopolies of Loss, by Adam Mars-Jones

The Gifts of the Body, by Rebecca Brown

The Body and Its Dangers, by Allen Barnett

Push, by Sapphire

The Line of Beauty, by Alan Hollinghurst

The Hours, by Michael Cunningham



Angels in America, by Tony Kushner

The Normal Heart, by Larry Kramer

Jeffrey, by Paul Rudnick



An Early Frost (the first movie about AIDS on network TV, from 1985)

Short Fuse (a short documentary film about Danny Sotomayor, a Chicago activist)

BPM (Beats Per Minute)

How to Survive a Plague 

We Were Here 

Longtime Companion (from 1989)


For further reading, here’s a list from Out magazine of 25 books “illuminating the impact of HIV/AIDS.”

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