Anne-Christine d’Adesky is a veteran AIDS journalist, lesbian activist, and Haitian rights advocate who has lived several lives. In her new book, The Pox Lover: An Activist’s Decade in New York and Paris, she takes measure of all she has learned from the chaotic, tragic, challenging and inspiring experiences along her way, including an analysis of the rise of populism and extreme nationalism that is now sweeping the globe.
Meandering through indelible moments in time, d’Adesky takes us on a tour of Manhattan’s once-funky and now-gentrified East Village: through squatter protests and civil disobedience clashes with police to all-night drag and art-dance parties. She relives the fun-loving anarchy of the Lesbian Avengers (which she co-founded) and their dyke marches, and the iconic public funerals staged by the AIDS activist group ACT UP.
Traveling as a journalist to Paris, an insomniac d’Adesky trolls the Seine, encountering waves of exiles fleeing violence in the Balkans, Haiti, and Rwanda. As the last of the French Nazis stand trial and the new National Front rises in the polls, d’Adesky examines the rise of the new right-wing in the popularity of Holocaust denier Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front, and his successor, daughter Marine Le Pen, a frontline 2017 presidential candidate.
The author implicates her own bloodline in this history, mercilessly but honestly digging into her aristocratic family’s roots in Vichy France and colonial Haiti.
D’Adesky will be interviewed by Edson Whitney, a behavior change communication specialist in public health for over 30 years, working at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health in far-flung corners of the globe, experiencing first hand the devastating effects of the HIV epidemic, poverty, war and the resettlement of refugees.
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