Item description for The After-Death Room: Journey Into Spiritual Activism by Michael Mccolly, George F. Butterick, Chris Rallis, David Heathcote, Richard Kemp, Patricia Elizabeth Tatspaugh, John F. Schank & Michael Hayes...
At the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban, Michael McColly, a journalist and yoga teacher living with AIDS, found himself confronted with the deeper issues and ethical dimensions of the epidemic. Seeing firsthand the destruction the disease was inflicting on South Africa and hearing the stories of activists from China to Nairobi challenged McColly to place his own problems within a global framework, forcing him to contemplate the lives of HIV positive people without access to treatment, health care, and a supportive community. Through interviews with Buddhist monks in a remote Thai monastery, male sex workers in India, African-American preachers in Chicago, and Senegalese mullahs, McColly comes to a fuller understanding of how cultural attitudes toward death and dying, sexuality and gender, and morality and spirituality affect the life chances of people living with HIV/AIDS. Part spiritual journey, part political transformation, Parables of the Body humanizes the often faceless struggles of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and at home.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The After-Death Room: Journey Into Spiritual Activism?
Well written, deeply felt , activist memoir Dec 2, 2007
McColly's writing is elegant and urgent. I rarely find books that combine political relevance and artistry as deeply as this book does. I couldn't put it down.
McColly Is Doing A Great Service Jul 7, 2007
We are privileged to be working on publicity on this amazing book. Michael doesn't hold back and is brutally honest in his latest book. We highly recommend it. Michael is also creating a Prostrations for Peace on July l5th that is spreading throughout the country. It's a demonstration against the continued war in Iraq and the continued suffering and killing of our own and Iraqi people. Sherri Rosen Publicity, NYC
Intense, compassionate, enlightening, inspiring May 24, 2007
HIV-positive journalist Michael McColly travels through South Africa, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Chicago, and Senegal to document the lives of activists, sex workers, and people living with the AIDS. He also tells his own story, humanizing the disease and making it accessible in an intimate and compassionate way.
McColly's careful crafting blends scene and internal observations in a way that moves the vantage point from a feeling in the body to the exterior world, then out to a global perspective, taking the reader with him. Imagery and perception combine to make this not only an important sociological study of multiple struggles (sexuality, AIDS, poverty, healing), but also a literary work. He incorporates facts so that they become a part of the story without losing momentum, allowing the reader to step away from this book with a greater understanding of the scope of the AIDS pandemic.
Posing poignant and at times painful questions throughout his memoir, McColly challenges the reader to confront complex issues.
The book is both disheartening and inspiring as McColly's journey deepens. In Chennai, India, he interviews a man heading AIDS education for sex workers who says, "We are trying to make the young men ... into a cohesive, self-sustaining community. It's the only way they are going to survive not only this disease but this life." This becomes a subtle theme through the book: those who become active in helping others find that reaching out gives them a way to cope with the disease. At times, the story is devastating. Multiple viewpoints and approaches toward the treatment of AIDS help to put the struggles of various countries into a very real perspective.
The After-Death Room is a modern portrait of the diverse spectrum of the AIDS landscape. But the ultimate message does not just apply to AIDS. It is universal: the importance of connecting, understanding, loving, and helping others--which, in this world, is harder than ever to realize, is certainly a thing worth living for.