Written with Care: (literaire) zorgethiek in Engelstalige aids-literatuur

  • Katrien De Moor


This essay will discuss care ethics in Rebecca Brown's novel The Gifts of the
Body and Mark Doty's Heaven's Coast: a memoir. One of the ways in which
resistant AIDS narratives can oppose dominant moralistic and stigmatising
representations of people with AIDS is by foregrounding various alternative
forms of ethics, such as the construction of mutual care as a 'gift' that is
passed on amongst friends, lovers, families, and wider PWA communities. I
will argue, moreover, that the practical and emotional support that communities
and individuals provide to PWAs is frequently extended to a literary form of
care, which memorialises and bears witness to names, stories, and deaths. The
Gifts and Heaven's Coast reveal and even advocate an ethics of care without
portraying an idealized view of care or representing it as an innate ability.

How to Cite:

De Moor, K., (2003) “Written with Care: (literaire) zorgethiek in Engelstalige aids-literatuur”, Handelingen - Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse maatschappij voor taal- en letterkunde en geschiedenis 57, 55-72. doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
15 Dec 2003
Peer Reviewed