Bio of play­wright, ac­tivist in the works

Au­thor says Larry Kramer saved ‘so many lives with his writ­ing’


NEW YORK — The first bi­og­ra­phy of play­wright and gay ac­tivist Larry Kramer will be writ­ten with the full sup­port of the sub­ject him­self.

Bill Gold­stein has been tapped to write the au­tho­rized bi­og­ra­phy by Henry Holt and Co. The book, not yet ti­tled, will draw on in­ter­views with Kramer; his hus­band David Web­ster; friends and foes; as well as pa­pers in Kramer’s ar­chives at Yale Univer­sity. Gold­stein will have com­plete ed­i­to­rial free­dom.

Kramer, now 83, wrote The Nor­mal Heart for the stage and the screen­play for the film Women in Love. He is best known for his pub­lic fight to se­cure med­i­cal treat­ment, ac­cep­tance and civil rights for peo­ple with AIDS. He co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Cri­sis and founded Act Up, which has pro­vided a model for lib­er­a­tion move­ments, in­clud­ing Black Lives Mat­ter and #MeToo.

“Larry, in pri­vate, as with many peo­ple, is of­ten very dif­fer­ent from what his pub­lic per­sona is, and I think peo­ple don’t of­ten un­der­stand his hu­mour or how beloved he is by his friends,” Gold­stein said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day. “And then there are peo­ple who were his en­e­mies — some­times they’re the same per­son. So I hope to cap­ture all of that. No one is neu­tral about Larry Kramer.”

The bi­og­ra­phy will trace Kramer’s life and ac­tivism but also will dive deeply into his writ­ing. “My goal is to take him se­ri­ously as a writer be­cause that’s what he be­gan as and that is what he con­tin­ues to be, whether it’s a screen­writer, a nov­el­ist or a play­wright, and he’s had so much im­pact in each of those ar­eas,” Gold­stein said.

Gold­stein is the au­thor of The World Broke in Two: Vir­ginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, E.M. Forster and the Year That Changed Lit­er­a­ture. Gold­stein re­views books on NBC4’s Week­end To­day in New York, is cu­ra­tor of pub­lic pro­grams at Roo­sevelt House at Hunter Col­lege, and was the found­ing ed­i­tor of the books site of NY­

Gold­stein first met Kramer in 1985 when The Nor­mal Heart made its de­but and the two have oc­ca­sion­ally met over the years. “I feel that he shaped our time and, in many ways, shaped my own life,” said Gold­stein. In his pro­posal, he wrote: “There is prob­a­bly no other writer in Amer­ica, or the world, who is re­spon­si­ble for sav­ing so many lives with his writ­ing.”


Larry Kramer

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.