Its Late, I Cant Breathe by Mario Wirz
A Nocturnal Narrative

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Mario, a 35-year-old gay actor, knows that he doesn't have long to live. For five years, he has been surviving himself. For five years, the virus has schooled him in fear. Mario lies in the prison of his room and gives himself failing grades for his life, an F for his lack of success, an F for his pathological need for intimacy, and an F for his neurotic lack of independence. Locked within him is resentment toward his mother, the lifelong yearning for a father, and a pimply-faced kid who cowers and refuses to grow up. Mario stumbles through the wilderness of men and waits. He's learned his lesson and endures the unendurable. In a unique, staccato style, Mario Wirz tells the desperate story of a man obsessed with his memories. For as long as he can hold out against the inevitable, he traces the course of his life, spinning a feverish narrative that exposes his voracious will to live. A disturbingly direct narrative, both cynical and moving, It's Late, I Can't Breathe is written by a 20-year survivor of AIDS who is one of the most talented writers in Germany today. Responding to initial criticism of the book by the gay press in Germany as a homosexual lament and a document of gay self-hatred,the author responded: It would be nice if modern homosexuals were simply emancipated and self-aware, but it would be absurd to take this important concept in a fundamentalist manner and to mask all other realities like negativity and ambivalence only because they don't fit in with our picture of ourselves.

About Mario Wirz

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Mario Wirz was born in Marburg, Germany, in 1956 and worked as an author, director, and actor. In 1988 he moved to Berlin to be a free-lance writer. His work includes numerous plays, collections of poems and short stories, and novels. His prose works include Es ist sp't, ich kann nicht atmen: Ein n'chtlicher Bericht (It's Late, I Can't Breathe: A Nocturnal Narrative), 1992, Biographie eines lebendigen Tages, 1994, and Umarmungen am Ende der Nacht, 1999. His works of poetry include Und Traum zerzaust dein Haar, 1982, All die vielen Nachtschritte, 1984, Ich rufe die W'lfe, 1993, Das Herz dieser Stunde, 1997, Sieben Leben hat die Woche, 2003, and Sturm vor der Stille, 2006. It's Late, I Can't Breathe is the first of his works to be published in English translation. The translator, Alfred G. Meyer, was a professor of political science at the University of Michigan from 1966 to 1990.
Published November 10, 2013 by G. Meyer Books/Spiritual Traveler Press. 125 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction

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