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All the young men : a memoir of love, AIDS, and chosen family in the American South

Author: Ruth Coker Burks; Kevin Carr O'Leary
Publisher: New York, NY : Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, 2020. ©2020
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First edition.; First Grove Atlantic hardcover editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In 1986, twenty-six-year-old Ruth visits a friend at the hospital when she notices a door to one of the rooms is painted red. Nurses are drawing straws to see who will tend to the patient crying for his mother on the other side, all of them unwilling to help. Ruth immediately steps into the quarantined space herself, comforting the young man in his last moments. Before she realizes what she's done, word spreads in  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
Named Person: Ruth Coker Burks
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ruth Coker Burks; Kevin Carr O'Leary
ISBN: 9780802157249 0802157246
OCLC Number: 1200038067
Description: 355 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Ruth Coker Burks & Kevin Carr O'Leary.

Abstract:

"In 1986, twenty-six-year-old Ruth visits a friend at the hospital when she notices a door to one of the rooms is painted red. Nurses are drawing straws to see who will tend to the patient crying for his mother on the other side, all of them unwilling to help. Ruth immediately steps into the quarantined space herself, comforting the young man in his last moments. Before she realizes what she's done, word spreads in the community that Ruth is the only person willing to help these young men afflicted by AIDS, and is called upon to nurse them. Shuttling from patient to patient, Ruth forges deep friendships with the men she helps: Paul and Billy, Angel, Chip, Todd and Douglas, working tirelessly to find them housing and jobs, and burying their ashes in her own family's cemetery. She teaches sex-ed to drag queens after hours at secret bars and defies local pastors and nurses to help the men she cares for, ultimately advising then-Governor Bill Clinton on the national HIV-AIDS crisis and becoming a beacon of hope to an otherwise spurned group of ailing gay men on the fringes of an intensely conservative state. This moving and elegiac memoir honors the extraordinary life of Ruth Coker Burks and the beloved men with AIDS who fought valiantly for their lives during a most hostile and misinformed time in America"--

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