June #102 : Female Troubles - by River Huston

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Can We Talk?

Crimes of the Heart

"Save Adap!"

Meth Traps

How to Recognize Abuse - and Deal

Loose Threads

Milestones

International Male

Earthwatch

Soap Dish

Brief

Black Tar Smack Attack

Female Troubles

Comic Relief

Pos & Neg

Double Exposure

Quick Study: Nutrients

Paunch Punch

Report from Retro

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Quick Study: Depression

Warning Signs

Tunnel of Grub

Resources: Good News

Skin Trade

Editor's Letter

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

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Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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June 2004

Female Troubles

by River Huston

When I picked up Paula Peterson’s Women in the Grove (Beacon Press, $20)—nine captivating stories about HIVer women—my own writerly deadlines escaped my mind. Peterson’s fictional tales conjure everyday lasses overcoming life’s obstacles. The first—about Lucinda, visited by God while dying in a hospital—immediately piqued my own curiosity about the Creator. Her narratives from each woman’s viewpoint made me feel as if I had lived with them.

I admit I was hard-pressed to find a woman like myself—most are financially-struggling, African-American moms. But when I asked Peterson about her choices, she explained, “I wanted to write about mothers with HIV, since their stories often go unheard.” As we talked about our shared experiences as HIVer writers, I realized that Paulson’s characters are not so distant: Their battles with work, relationships and getting through each day are the same as mine.

At first, I wasn’t in the mood to read about women fighting HIV—if I wanted that misery, I could reflect on my own life. But Grove surprised me—it transcended HIV by interesting me in these womens’ lives and how they resolved their own dilemmas.




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