The Waterfront Journals
Voices from the margins of American life tell their sad and shocking stories of trickery, betrayal, sex, and defeat in a poignant and powerful collection of more than forty short monologues
In his full but regrettably brief lifetime, David Wojnarowicz was many things: a visual and performance artist whose radical work incensed the right-wing establishment, a tireless AIDS and anticensorship activist, and, most emphatically, a writer. His Waterfront Journals are a remarkable collection of fictionalized stories spoken in the voices of unforgettable characters the author met during his time spent living on America’s streets and traveling her back roads. The narrators speak from the heart and from the depths of despair, creating an often shocking and powerfully moving mosaic of American life in the shadows.
Here are junkies and boy hustlers, truckers and hoboes. A runner tells of his encounter with two drug-using priests who openly and proudly discuss their various sexual exploits. Whores tell of johns who brutalized them and corrupt cops who did the same. A young man relays his tale of a seedy movie balcony pickup and his shocking discovery that his “date” was not who she seemed. Another man describes sex with an amputee Vietnam veteran. Each of their stories stuns with hard and haunting truths that will leave the reader staggered and breathless, and yet exhilarated.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“He could leave toothmarks on the memory.” —The New York Times
“A spokesman for the unspeakable.” —New York magazine
“Full of stark honesty and forehead-wrinkling tragedy. Wojnarowicz’s journals take you to the streets, the caves, the alleys, the crack houses and the farmhouses across America. Whether you want to be there or not, you can’t help turning the pages, following Wojnarowicz on his simultaneously exhilarating and exhausting trips.” —Twin Cities Reader
“A social critique of remarkable potency . . . Intoxicating power . . . Exercises in psychic cruising, the fleeting intimacies of The Waterfront Journals are redolent of sex and violence, but also of spiritual longing. They are dispatches from that region of dissolute grace at the city’s edge.” —Time Out New York
About the author
David Wojnarowicz was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, in 1954, and first gained notice in New York's East Village art scene in the 1970s. He rose to fame for his exceptional range, intelligence, and passion, and by the 1980s had become one of the most provocative artists of his generation. In the years before his death in 1992 from AIDS-related complications, he worked tirelessly as an AIDS activist and anticensorship advocate.