GIVING IT RAW: Nearly 30 years with AIDS
BY FRANCISCO IBAÑEZ-CARRASCO ($16.99)
30 years ago, the world was a very different place. That’s when Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, a native of Santiago, Chile, moved to Vancouver, discovered he was HIV-positive and was faced with the question of how to seize his life. In 1985 terms, he had an unsurvivable illness. In his own terms, he had new license to face his mortality with grit and dark humor.
A a no-holds-barred account of the irreverent, dirty, and illuminating escapades in Carrasco's three decades of living, working in HIV clinics, and being involved in the BDSM and fetish community. Giving It Raw, is the first memoir from the celebrated novelist and beloved enfant terrible of Canadian literature.
"Giving It Raw reads like poetry. Whether describing childhood poverty in 1960s Santiago or sexual excess in 1980s Vancouver, Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco creates a world at once awash in nostalgia and rooted in hard-won wisdom. The result is a kind of gritty romance, told in a style that's lilting, thought-provoking, and even a little naughty."- Brent Caderwood, author The God of Longing (2014, Sibling Rivalry Press)
"A rich ethnographic fresco of our spaces from taxis to transit lines to bathhouses, and of our urban flora and fauna from sex pigs to kamikaze teen skateboarders. ... If you glance one or two moments that may seem glib or insider-ish, they are well made up for by sudden flashes of brilliance and insight that I find truly wise like the sense of friendship as affectionate co-dependency."- Tom Waugh, author The Romance of Transgression in Canada: Queering Sexualities, Nations, Cinemas
"So much about Giving It Raw: Nearly 30 Years with HIV is raw — the sex, the emotions, the loss — that there are moments you want to move away from the unflinching honesty, close the book not so you can avoid his frank and deliciously graphic recollections of sexual encounters over the last several decades as a gay poz man, but so you too don't find yourself remembering the same visceral loss and haunting loneliness, the moment in time where despair and shame and hedonism were the only antidotes to the bodies piling up around us. Shedding that shame, in part becoming the man he is through BDSM, fetishes, and rough trade, is what Ibáñez-Carrasco writes of so eloquently (the title being a clear nod to this past and present), but this is not a book about sex, not a work of erotica. It's a tragicomic confessional, a history lesson, and an intellectual treatise on sex, love, family, and a virus that's killing fewer but still too many — and it's a breathtaking one at that."- Diane Anderson-Minshall editor-at-large, The Advocate magazine, editor-in-chief of HIV Plus magazine, and author of the memoir,Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders
"Giving it Raw is the least self-indulgent 'nobody' memoir I've ever read. Honest, captivating, beautifully-written and without offering any answers or advice. It's dirty without being gratuitous, raw without being raunchy (not that there's anything wrong with being raunchy), and vulnerable without being pathetic. It might scare some people to know that this is anybody's story and yet it is delightful in being Ibañez-Carrasco's particular story. 'Giving it Raw' will enrich your understanding of latinidad, the HIV movement, and immigration. It should also complicate your feelings about 'safer sex,' queerness and love."- Karma Chavez, author of Queer Migration Politics