Posts From Author: emma thompson

The Chronicles of Fry

Many times while reading The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry‘s bestselling memoir, I was forced to confront sadly the likelihood that the world will no longer need my autobiography. Not that he and I have lived the same life exactly. I haven’t written a dozen bestselling books or had a show on Broadway or been nominated for a Golden Globe or made a series of award-winning documentaries or presented a fantastically popular gameshow — or even published eighteen and a half thousand tweets, though at least I can realistically aim to. Nevertheless, I found myself so wholeheartedly agreeing with so many of his observations on life that anything I might have to say is now effectively redundant. We even share a passion for Ricicles. But enough about me. The Fry Chronicles, through a series of words beginning with the letter C, tells the story of Fry’s life through late adolescence and the first decade or so of his remarkable career. Cereal, candy, cigarettes, Cundall Manor School (where he briefly taught), Cambridge, coming out, [University] Challenge, The Cellar Tapes (the Footlights revue co-written by Fry that won the first Perrier Comedy Award in Edinburgh), cars, commercials, celibacy, and of course his colleague — “M’Coll” — Hugh Laurie, his best friend […]
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Why We Fight: Body Counts, Surviving the Plague, and the Angels in America

There’s a poster currently on display in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building advertising a “MASSIVE PROTEST” to “STOP THE CHURCH” at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s almost twenty-five years old but quite as shocking as it was in 1989. In fact, pretty much all the material in the New York Public Library‘s moving exhibition “Why We Fight: Remembering AIDS Activism” has retained its direct, visceral power. The famous “Silence = Death” posters, which reappropriate the pink triangles used by the Nazis to brand gay men, are still highly provocative. So too are the numerous works on display by artists’ collective Gran Fury, including the “New York Crimes” front pages that sought to readdress a perceived imbalance in news coverage of the AIDS crisis, and the memorable pin badges that read “Men: Use Condoms or Beat It”. NYPL, which preserves the archives of a range of activist organisations and key individuals, has done a magnificent job in presenting the early grassroots response to the epidemic. The exhibition is also a timely reminder that AIDS is an ongoing crisis. The horror I felt reading on one poster “One AIDS death every thirty minutes!” was magnified by an editorial caption bringing this stat up to date: […]
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