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Cover for The After-Death Room

The After-Death Room

Journey Into Spiritual Activism

Michael McColly


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At the 13th International AIDS conference in Durban, Michael McColly, a journalist and yoga teacher living with AIDS, found himself confronted with the deeper issues and ethical dimensions of the epidemic. Seeing firsthand the destruction the disease was inflicting on South Africa and hearing the stories of activists from China to Nairobi challenged McColly to place his own problems within a global framework, forcing him to contemplate the lives of HIV positive people without access to treatment, health care, and a supportive community. Through interviews with Buddhist monks in a remote Thai monastery, male sex workers in India, African-American preachers in Chicago, and Senegalese mullahs, McColly comes to a fuller understanding of how cultural attitudes toward death and dying, sexuality and gender, and morality and spirituality affect the life chances of people living with HIV/AIDS. Part spiritual journey, part political transformation, Parables of the Body humanizes the often faceless struggles of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and at home.

Soft Skull, 9781932360929, 384pp.

Publication Date: September 25, 2006

About the Author

Michael McColly is the author of The After-Death Room, a blend of reportage and memoir that chronicles his travels through parts of Asia, Africa and America reporting on AIDS activism. In the process of his intense travels and reporting, he wrote travel pieces, essays, and journalism that have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Ascent, In These Times, Salon, The Sun, and other literary journals.