Two AIDS-Themed Books Win at 2015 Lambda Literary Awards

Winners of the 27th annual Lambda Literary Awards included two AIDS-themed books, according to a press release from the LGBT group.

Martin Duberman’s Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill, and the Battlefield of AIDS took home an award for LGBT Nonfiction. And Tom Spanbauer’s I Loved You More won in the Gay General Fiction category.

The awards ceremony took place in New York City and also honored Rita Mae Brown and John Waters.

Hold Tight Gently profiles two AIDS pioneers who both died at age 38 in the mid 1990s. “It’s part of the story that has been least told: the pre-ACT UP story,” Duberman told POZ last year. “I think the lives themselves of Mike and Essex needed retrieval. Both were extraordinary men, very brave, very generous in terms of helping others.… And one of the central themes of the book is the different ways AIDS has impacted the white and African-American communities. The story of how the white gay world in general has treated black gay people has itself not been well told.”

In a POZ interview in 2014, Spanbauer, who is HIV positive, said I Loved You More is about an older gay man with AIDS looking back on his life through his love affairs—including relationships with a straight man and a woman.

POZ founder and Sero Project executive director Sean Strub’s book Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival was nominated in the Gay Memoir/Biography category. It lost to a two-way tie: Richard Blanco’s The Prince of Los Cocuyos and John Lahr’s Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.

Strub’s memoir was excerpted in an issue of POZ.

See the Lambda Literary press release for a complete list of winners along with photos from the awards ceremony.

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