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At Your Own Risk

A Saint’s Testament

2010
Author:

Derek Jarman

At Your Own Risk

Derek Jarman’s defiant and provocative memoir of his life and times

The clarity with which Derek Jarman offered up his life and the living of it, particularly since the epiphany—I can call it nothing less—of his illness was a genius stroke, not only of provocation, but of grace.

Tilda Swinton

At Your Own Risk

One of England’s foremost filmmakers, Derek Jarman (1942–1994) wrote and directed several feature films, including Sebastiane, Jubilee, Caravaggio, and Blue, as well as numerous short films and music videos. He was a stage designer, artist, writer, gardener, and an outspoken AIDS and queer rights activist in the UK and the United States. He is the author of several books, among them Modern Nature, available from the University of Minnesota Press.

At Your Own Risk

Fascinating . . . It must be reckoned invaluable for any American gay studies collection, both for the contrast its picture of gay life in Britain makes with U.S. gay life and because of Jarman’s provocative intelligence and his emotional and social maturity.

Booklist

A moving, visually evocative memoir . . . Jarman is truly a spokesman for his tribe, a teacher and a sage who, while staring death in the face, keeps his eyes open to report back with a deep understanding of what is important to the gay community.

Library Journal

A spirited motorcycle tour through Jarman’s life and times . . . Jarman is a shining example of living fully, creatively and prolifically with H.I.V.

Lambda Book Report

A combination of brilliant sarcasm, a sorrowful rumination of loss and a decisive triumph of living an open life.

Art & Understanding

At Your Own Risk is profound, constructed of fragmented thoughts and biting one-liners. Every paragraph is a proclamation, an accusation or an emotional reaction to memory.

L.A. Weekly

A breathless stream of memory and imagination that simply does not let the reader go until the last page . . . Jarman takes you through his universe as if you were riding a subway train with barely enough time to make all of its stations.

Inches

It’s as if the author is in the room talking as an old friend.

In Touch

The clarity with which Derek Jarman offered up his life and the living of it, particularly since the epiphany—I can call it nothing less—of his illness was a genius stroke, not only of provocation, but of grace.

Tilda Swinton

Just as his films often incorporated luridly gay imagery, his writing is equally direct, equally visual and sensual.

Slant