Publisher's Comments (cont.)
The year is 1989 and Mark Doty's life has reached a state of enviable equilibrium. His reputation as a poet of formidable talent is growing, he enjoys his work as a college professor, and, perhaps most important, he is deeply in love with his partner of many years, Wally Roberts. The harmonious existence these two men share is shattered, however, when they learn that Wally has tested positive for HIV.
In Heaven's Coast - part memoir, part journal, part elegy for a life of rare communion and beauty - Mark Doty evinces the same stunning honesty, resplendent descriptive power, narrative assuredness, and rapt attention to the physical landscape that has won his poetry such attention and acclaim. The result is a poignant limning of the difficult accommodations and adjustments Doty and his partner must make as they realize the trajectory of their imagined life together may be dramatically cut short.
Every descent into darkness requires a guide, and for this journey Doty is our Virgil. Through his unflinching, ever-direct gaze, we are permitted to view the many layers of tragedy - the aching pain of slow leave-taking, the impotence and rage with which we greet death at what should be life's richest and most vital moment. From diagnosis to the initial signs of deterioration to the heartbreaking hour when Wally is released from his body's ruined vessel, Heaven's Coast is an intimate chronicle of love, its hardships and innumerable gifts.