David B. Feinberg

Author: David B. Feinberg

Profile: David Barish Feinberg was an American writer and AIDS activist. He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts and grew up in Syracuse, New York. His parents were Jewish. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, thus majoring in mathematics and learning creative writing with John Hersey, the novelist and graduated in 1977. Later he worked for MLA (Modern Language Association of America) as a computer programmer and pursued a Master’s degree in linguistics at New York University. In 1979 he completed Calculus, his debut novel.

In 1987 he was tested HIV positive after which he joined, ACT UP, an activist organization thus participating in various demonstrations. Due to failing health he was admitted in hospital and died at the age of 37 years.

Writing style: David joined a writing group for gay men in the early 1980s and in due course created the character of a young gay Jewish man, named B.J Rosenthal, who was very much similar to him. Later on this character became the main character in virtually in all his writings.

Published Texts:

1986 & 1987 – Contributed to the humor column to the gay magazine, Mandate

1989 – Eight-Sixed

Reviews, stories and articles written by Feinberg appeared in The Advocate, The New York Times Book Review, Poz, Details, The Body Positive, OutWeek, Out, Tribe, QW, New York Quarterly, Diseased Pariah News, Gay Community News, etc. and both Men on Men 4 and Men on Men 2: Best New Gay Fiction.

In 1995 Voice reading from Queer and Loathing was used in the 1995 PBS series Positive: Life with HIV

Papers of Feinberg are held by the New York Public Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division

In John Weir’s novel, ‘What I Did Wrong’, in 2006, the character Zach is based on Feinberg, who is a friend of Weir.

The name David B. Feinberg is mentioned by a number of interviewees of the ACT UP Oral History Project

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’sFiction

Won the American Library Association Gay/Lesbian Award for Fiction