A Discussion About (Mostly) Books as They Relate to a Theme of Contemporary Interest

The brutal democracy of AIDS

No one knows exactly how many people died in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, but according to some sources, by the end of 1986, the virus had killed around twenty-four thousand people in the United States. AIDS gained serious momentum in 1987, the death count almost doubling in just one year. Another twenty thousand or so succumbed to the illness in 1988. Angels in America, the play Tony Kushner wrote in two parts between that year and 1992, and which takes place between 1985 and 1990, occurs on “the very threshold of revelation,” before the country woke to find an epidemic raging.

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Nicole Pasulka is a writer and reporter who lives in New York City, for now.

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