More to Me Than HIV

moretomethanhiv.life Read more

More to Me Than HIV

First published in Gscene July 2020 For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library.For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being           Read more

More to Me Than HIV: GScene post Aug 2020

More to Me Than HIV is a project that aims to breakdown the stigma that has historically been attached to this virus.  When I saw my piece in last months Gscene to promote the More to Me Than HIV project, I was extremely proud, but a small part of me was filled with anxiety; but why should I feel this way? I have been on effective antiretroviral therapy since the Read more

More to Me Than HIV: first published in GScene July 2020

For last years World AIDS Day I put together a public project of work joining other people living with an HIV+ diagnoses at Jubilee library. For the project I spoke openly about my journey having being             diagnosed HIV+ 32 years previous. Back then there was no treatment and a lot of fear and misinformation concerning how HIV was transmitted. As such stigma was rife, Read more

books

Love to Read

img_6096

There is a new project called Love To Read, whose main remit is to get people of all ages from all walks of life back into the habit of reading. There are many reasons why people have stopped reading, from busy lives to just plainly falling out of love with reeading. Have a look on the Love to Read website to find ways of getting back into a habit that once rediscovered can bring so much joy.

As part of my involvement with the project, Love to Read, I would like to recommend some of my favourite books, first up, Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury’s iconic novel, Fahrenheit 451 first came in to being when he was living in a cramped house with his wife and new born baby daughter, he desperately needed a ‘room of his own’ to write. it was around this time that he was walking through the University of California, he heard the sound of typing in the basement of the library. it was there he discovered a room filled with twelve typewriters that people could rent for ten cents for half an hour.

(Did you know that all fourteen of Brighton and Hove’s libraries offer use of computers for registered library uses, the first hour is free (2 hours free for people on certain benefits) and £1 per hour there after.

Bradbury’s book touchers on the dystopia themes that have been explored in many other mediums of this type, from George Orwell’s, 1984, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World and Suzanne Collins, Hunger Games. (all of which are availible from Brighton and hove Libraries.)

The title of Bradbury’s book, Fahrenheit 451, relates to the temperature at which paper burns and it is book burning that is at the centre of this tale. Set in the future, where houses are fireproof, firemen are employed to seek out and burn any books that are found. Bradbury looks back on past history of both governments and religious authorities who have exerted their power and created fear over others through burning books.

The authorities in Fahrenheit 451 believe that books are harmful as they would make people question their existence and purpose in the world that is controlled through a banal feed of television programmes in which residence are sent scripts so they can interact with the shows.

The main protagonist, Montag, a dedicated firman and destroyer of books, meets a young woman called Clarisse McClellan who unlike the other residents in her neighbourhood notices the natural things in life and finds beauty in them, from a dandelion in the grass to the rain on her face. Montag finds these qualities most strange as he has lived a life of not feeling or thinking for himself for so long.

It is through his further encounters with Clarisse that he begins to question why he destroys books. His motives are shaken further when he, along with his team of firemen raid a house (neighbours are encouraged to inform the authorities if they suspect their neighbours are hoarding books). This is a direct echo of the Bradbury’s concerns he had of Republican U.S. Senator, Joseph McCarthy and his drive to encourage anyone to expose people deemed to be Communists.

On his latest mission, Montag is horrified to find that the person accused of hoarding books has not been arrested and taken to the local asylum. As the books rain down on her and are soaked in kerosene, the woman takes out a box of matches. in the mids of everyones panic, Montag steals one of her books and hides it in his jacket then runs as the woman commits suicide, setting fire to her belovered books as well as herself.

From here on in Montag’s eyes are forced open as he fights everything he had held as true and seeks out others who find passion beyond the mundane in books.

I would highly recommend this book for people who like sci-fi/dystopia novels and for those who have never given this genre a go before. The realism of the settings allow the reader to enter the world of Fahrenheit 451 with ease but will leave them wanting to explore many of the other brilliant novels by Bradbury.

For more infomation about the Love to Read project and how to get invloved please follow this link

Posted on by admin in Brighton and Hove Libraries, Love to Read 1 Comment

Authors Asked to Erase Gay Character.

Stop discrimination

You’re a writer, you have worked hard on developing a plot for your young adult, fictional novel. You have created a character you love and you know will reach out to your readership. The excitement builds as you get a call from a literary agent who says they love the book but… for the manuscript to be more palatable to the publishers they want you to write out the black character and make him white. The outcry would be huge, with such an idea hitting the six O clock news. Yet it was only twenty years ago when children’s author Malorie Blackman was asked to do just that.

 So when she was told that last week, two American writers, Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown, were told by a literary agent that their young adult, post-apocalyptic novel, Stranger, was of interest, but only on the proviso that they re-wrote the gay characters as a heterosexual couple; her adamant response was, “Are we still not over this nonsense? Read more

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Fiction & Books, Human Rights, LGBT, Literature, Zhoosh 11 Comments

Gothic Read.

While you’re out in the sun, you might fancy sitting down for a read. For those who like a touch of gothic fiction or equally want to delve into a tale that explores feminist studies, then I’d strongly recommended The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. First published in 1892, the story explores one woman’s battle to take control of her wellbeing, while trapped in a patriarchal household.  Having been prescribed the rest cure, (the same cure had been prescribed to Gilman by her physician, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell; the result was this short tale.) Dispite her wishes both her brother and husband coerce the narrator to stay in the at the top of the house. Forbidden to partake in any stimulus, she writes in secret, spilling out her inner frustrations regarding her husband, her home life and lack of energy, each made worse by her long neglected, hated surroundings. However, as each night passes, the room begins to give up it’s secrets, releasing the woman, as other women had done before, from her male tormentors  forever. Read more

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Fiction & Books, Gothic horror, Leisure, Literature, Zhoosh Leave a comment

Gothic Literature: A Snap Shot.

The 18th Century saw the birth of novel. There was already a readership for autobiographies, journals and memoirs; however, the novel brought a new style to the emerging middle classes. Daniel Defoe is credited as the founder of the English novel, with Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722). Both novels were written with a sense of realism and human dilemma which proved extremely popular to his readership.

By the middle of the 18th Century Horace Walpole, a keen fanatic of all things Gothic, published The Castle of Otranto (1764). In the first addition Walpole clamed the story was a translation based on a found manuscript dated from 1529. Once the Novel was received positively, Walpole would confess that the work was from his own imagination. Read more

Posted on by Glenn Stevens in Fiction & Books, film, Gothic horror, Leisure, Literature Leave a comment