The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination

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By (author) Sarah Schulman

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 206mm x 15mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 6 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520280067
  • ISBN 13: 9780520280069
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 184,988

Product description

In this gripping memoir of the AIDS years (1981-1996), Sarah Schulman recalls how much of the rebellious queer culture, cheap rents, and a vibrant downtown arts movement vanished almost overnight to be replaced by gay conservative spokespeople and mainstream consumerism. Schulman takes us back to her Lower East Side and brings it to life, filling these pages with vivid memories of her avant-garde queer friends and dramatically recreating the early years of the AIDS crisis as experienced by a political insider. Interweaving personal reminiscence with cogent analysis, Schulman details her experience as a witness to the loss of a generation's imagination and the consequences of that loss.

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Author information

Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor of English at CUNY, Staten Island, is the author of nine novels, five books of nonfiction, plays, and films.

Review quote

"This bracing, powerful, and well-reasoned work reaffirms the author's stature as a distinctive American woman of letters... Highly recommended." -- Richard Drezen Library Journal 20120302 "The book that's inspired me more than any other this year is Sarah Schulman's Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination, a razor-sharp memoir of New York in the heyday of the AIDS crisis." -- Jason King Slate 20121226 "Teeming with ideas, necessary commentary, refreshing connections and examination of the status quo." Lambda Literary 20120313 "A brilliant critique of contemporary culture... This is the most important book of the year." -- Jeff Miller Cult MTL 20121227 "Schulman's personal recollections... are sharp and vivid." Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide 20120801 "This is a very good, very sad book about the aftershock of the AIDS crisis in New York. Schulman is a truly gifted thinker." -- Alex Frank Fader Magazine 20120518 "The author, a true woman of letters, makes a persuasive case." -- Roberto Friedman Bay Area Reporter 20120315 "This is why the book is so successful and demands our attention: through a focus on the pulse of the queer community (of the 80s), it touches upon the individual condition (of today)." -- Marcie Bianco Velvetpark 20120320 "A polemic, a passionate, provocative ... account of disappearance, forgetfulness and untimely death." -- Olivia Laing New Statesman 20130307 "No book has rocked my world in recent times more than Sarah Schulman's 'The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination' ... [it ranks] among the best alternative histories published in the last 50 years." -- Don Shewey Culturevulture.net 20120521 "A galvanizing account of the transformation, both external and mental, in New York City life." -- Emily Douglas Los Angeles Review Of Books 20120608 "The essence of what Schulman calls gentrification is to pretend that privilege and difference do not exist and that any attempt to remember that they do is mere 'political correctness' rather than facing up to the reality to who does what to whom. To forget these things, is to deceive ourselves-and Schulman's harsh, bitter prose is a useful way of waking ourselves up." -- Roz Kaveney Times Literary Supplement (TLS) 20120413 "It's a beautifully written screed (not a bad word in my books)... Schulman shines when she taps her deep knowledge of the AIDS movement... She can be brilliant." -- Susan G. Cole Now 20120308

Flap copy

"Sarah Schulman, as always, hits the nail on the head. I can't imagine a more insightful probe into gentrification and its inhumane consequences. Everyone needs to read this book."--Martin Duberman, author of "Stonewall" "Sarah Schulman's "The Gentrification of the Mind" is a bulwark against the collective loss of memory. AIDS, gentrification, the struggle for gay rights, the class war that has driven entire communities of artists, immigrants, and outsiders from the neighborhoods they created--all these things have been erased by the official culture. Schulman's book will make you rage and weep, and then--just maybe--organize."--Luc Sante, author of "Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York" "Hard-headed, sensitive, and informed, this book will make the confused world of urban redevelopment and gentrification make notably more sense. Schulman has a mind as clear as a bell in evening. You'll be glad you read it. I was."--Samuel R. Delany, author of "Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders"

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Making Record from Memory Part I. Understanding the Past 1. The Dynamics of Death and Replacement 2. The Gentrification of AIDS 3. Realizing That They're Gone Part II. The Consequences Of Loss 4. The Gentrification of Creation 5. The Gentrification of Gay Politics 6. The Gentrification of Our Literature Conclusion: Degentrification The Pleasure of Being Uncomfortable