Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Before All Dignity is Lost - A new book by Norman Beaupré

About the Book

What would you do if you suddenly discovered you had AIDS? What would you think? This is the epistolary story of a young man who suffers through the ignominy of AIDS and dies from it at age 34. He's not the stereotypical victim, and he has his story to tell. He especially wants to tell how the medical system failed him in his battle with AIDS. "The stark truth was that the physicians of my treatment team, from the primary care physician to the infectious diseases team to the seven other specialists with whom I had been sent on consultation had no training and no education in treating the HIV and didn't seek or send me to consult with anyone who did," he writes dispiritedly. To the recipient of the letters and correspondent, this young man, Drew, is seen as the "bad luck kid." Drew not only struggles with AIDS but his car is vandalized, the bike on which he was riding was hit broadside, and he was sent to the hospital. On top of everything else, his mother leaves home which means that he has to care for his brothers and his alcoholic father. Episodes of ill luck follow one another in a seemingly endless stream. Drew can be compared to a present-day Job, a Biblical figure with which he identifies. It can also be said of Drew that the spirit can truly soar above and beyond one's sense of vulnerability and disease.

About the author

Norman Beaupré, a Franco-American, was born in southern Maine. He received a Ph.D. in French Literature from Brown University in 1974. He is presently Professor Emeritus at the University of New England, Biddeford, Maine. He continues to pursue his two great interests, travel and writing. He is the author of a bilingual [French/English] folk art book, four books in French, and one novel in English, Marginal Enemies. He is presently working on a novel based on Van Gogh in Arles and visited Arles, St-Rémy, and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in October 2005. He has just returned from a visit to Amsterdam where he did research at the Van Gogh Museum.
For more information, visit his website at