ISBN-10: 0872869091
ISBN-13: 9780872869097
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 06/04/2024
Dimensions: 0.00" L, 0.00" W, 0.00" H

Published by City Lights

My Body Is Paper: Stories and Poems

Editor: Pablo Alvarez
Editor: Kevin Martin
Editor: Rafael Pérez-Torres
Editor: Terry Wolverton
Foreword by: Justin Torres
Afterword by: Pablo Alvarez


Price: $12.57


A newly discovered manuscript of unpublished work by one of the most important Chicanx voices of the last thirty years.

“Without doubt one of the sexiest and most important writers I’ve ever read.”–Justin Torres, author of Blackouts and We the Animals, from his foreword to My Body Is Paper

From Gil Cuadros, the author of the groundbreaking classic of Chicanx literature City of God, comes My Body is Paper, a recently discovered treasure. Although written more than a quarter century ago, these captivating stories and evocative poems leave an indelible mark, speaking to issues we grapple with today–sex, spirit, family, religion, culture of origin, and the betrayals of the body. Cuadros fearlessly sheds light on the indifference and cluelessness of the healthcare system toward people from marginalized communities: the trauma of HIV/AIDS still reverberates for those afflicted with our most recent plague. Family and church may be the first experiences of love and community, but too often try to tamp us down, leaving a trail of profound mistrust. Sex can free us, and can wound us, and we may welcome both. Cuadros dives into these complexities with a resilient spirit, animating the everyday and the imagination, showing us that we too can survive these times–and beyond.

This collection of previously unpublished stories and poems is destined to capture the attention of an entirely new generation of readers.

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In The News
  • Read Ruben Quesada’s appreciation of writers Gil Cuadros, Gary Soto and others in the Lambda Literary Review.
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Praise for Gil Cuadros' City of God:

Chosen one of the Los Angeles Times's "Essential Los Angeles Books," April 2023

"Before he died in 1996, Cuadros left behind this remarkable gift. . . .
this intense work depicts the rejection . . . often faced in Latino
families, the empowerment spurred by sexual freedom, the menacing impact
of the epidemic and the personal toll on Cuadros and his friends."Los Angeles Times on Gil Cuadros's City of God, honored as an "Essential Los Angeles Book," April 2023

"The sensual, the expressive, the daring, the transformed become the
martyrs of every era, every family. Their memoirs, heroics are our most
devastating works of art. Gil Cuadros's story 'Unprotected' is a classic
of AIDS fiction and deserves a place of honor in the mosaic of American
writing."–Sarah Schulman, author of My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years

"Cuadros, who won both the 1991 Brody Literature Fellowship and one of the first PEN Center USA/West grants to writers with HIV, establishes himself as a new force in contemporary gay-themed writing with this collection. City of God provides frank, powerful testimony to life's continuation during the era of AIDS."–Publishers Weekly

"City of God is an unsparing account of devastation and empowerment in the age of AIDS. From the body's first mysterious eroticism to its final humiliation and pain, Gil Cuadros gives voice to both the beauty and sorrow of our common fate. His writing cuts like a double-edged sword–at times artful and sharp, at times unfiltered and raw. This is an awesome and haunting book."–David Trinidad, author of Digging to Wonderland: Memory Pieces

"In a voice poised between plainspokenness and urgency, Gil Cuadros writes about the remnants of love in a devastated world. The poems and stories in City of God are as dire as they are beautiful, and sharp as a blow to the body."–Bernard Cooper, author of My Avant-Garde Education: A Memoir

"I accuse Gil Cuadros of literary seduction in the nth degree . . . He makes me read on when I want to cry . . . I do not want to look at his words, and yet I cannot take my eyes away. His images sooth, burn, inspire. I accuse Gil Cuadros of language abuse–his stroke of silk, his pen a bludgeon. I accuse him of heart-bashing."–Wanda Coleman, author of Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems

More Reviews


ISBN-10: 0872869091
ISBN-13: 9780872869097
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 06/04/2024
Dimensions: 0.00" L, 0.00" W, 0.00" H
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