Mary Fisher Sleep With the Angels

ISBN 13: 9781559211031

Sleep With the Angels

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9781559211031: Sleep With the Angels
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Mother Challenges AIDS. In Sleep with the Angels Mary Fisher shows why she has become one of the country's most effective advocates on behalf of people with AIDS.There is a radiance in Mary Fisher that brings light, hope, and poetry to all who suffer heartbreak.-Diane Sawyer

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Inspirational speeches--along with autobiographical material--given from May 1992 through June 1993 by Fisher, former White House staffer in the Ford Administration, AIDS activist, and founder of the Family AIDS Network. Fisher, who was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1991 (she contracted the disease from her husband but found out about it only after their divorce), is best known for her moving address before the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston. That speech is included here, as are more than 20 others delivered before various groups around the US and at the International Conference on AIDS in Amsterdam. All the speeches were skillfully drafted by Jim Heynen, a P.R. consultant, who apparently also had a hand in producing the first-person narratives that introduce and give context to each speech. Because the speeches were given before such disparate audiences as high-school students, women's groups, health-care professionals, newspaper editors, Planned Parenthood supporters, Betty Ford Center alumni, religious assemblies, and community leaders, there's some variety in emphasis, but the basic message remains the same: We are all at risk for AIDS. Fisher presents herself as a prime example: If the virus can strike a woman such as herself--sheltered, privileged- -it can strike anyone. The author argues eloquently for compassion for AIDS victims and against complacency, for involvement and against prejudice. The title is taken from her nightly wish to her beloved sons, three-year-old Zachary and five-year-old Max, to whom she makes frequent reference and whose uncertain future as motherless children forms the book's poignant subtext. Individually, the pieces are touching--but repetition robs them of much of their impact. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

These are the public addresses Fisher made in her role as the middle-aged, blonde, churchgoing Republican-next-door lady-who-happens-to-be-HIV-positive. Embraced by a Bush administration made defensive by criticism of its silence about the AIDS epidemic and named by Bush to the National Commission on AIDS in the wake of Magic Johnson's stinging resignation, Fisher toured the country from May_ 1992 to June_ 1993. In May_ 1992 she addressed the Republican Platform Committee, asking her fellow partisans "to lift our shroud of silence" because "if you believe, as I did, that you and your children are not at risk, then take home this lesson from me: You are." She grew bolder, in April 1993 confronting the mythology of AIDS: "AIDS is really two epidemics: one caused by a virus, the other by mistrust and confusion." In June_ 1993, "it is not the AIDS community itself which is desperate for leadership," she averred, "it's the nation at large. Those who imagine that this is someone else's problem, someone else's disease--these are people who need leaders, or they will surely die." Whitney Scott

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