Margot Mifflin
August 21, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Memories That Smell Like Gasoline

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
David Wojnarowicz
genre
Memoir

We gave it a B+

”I’m a blank spot in a hectic civilization,” artist David Wojnarowicz declares in this collection of autobiographical writing and black-and-white drawings. Wojnarowicz, who recently died of AIDS, emerged from New York City’s East Village in the ’80s to become one of his generation’s most passionate advocates of AIDS awareness. His art is fearless although uneven; his writing is consistently intense and honest, especially concerning his invisibility in the eyes of society, first as a child prostitute, then as an HIV-positive adult. Memories That Smell Like Gasoline is not as wide-ranging as Wojnarowicz’s 1991 memoir, Close to the Knives, but it is every bit as affecting.

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