Resources for Loss

"The Times as It Knows Us" by Allen Barnett, contributed by Colton Carter (2019)

How does one grieve in the face of an epidemic? This is a fundamental question brought up by the AIDS epidemic and addressed in Allen Barnett's 1990 short story, "The Times as It Knows Us." Barnett's story takes place in a summer house on Fire Island during the wake of the AIDS crisis where a group of gay men are living and grieving. It is told through the perspective of the main character, Clark, who is struggling to come to terms with his lover's recent death. I encountered Barnett's work during my first-year expository writing course at Harvard. He was a gay writer living in New York, and he passed away in 1991 of AIDS-related complications. His writing struck me from its first pages—his prose was simple and beautiful, and his characters felt authentic. I'd highly recommend Barnett's prose as a way to explore loss in relation to identity, community, and queerness. 

Barnett, Allen. "The Times as It Knows Us." The Body and Its Dangers. St. Martins Press, 1990. 62-117. Print.


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