Allen Barnett saw this collection of short stories published in 1991, the same year as his death due to AIDS-related illness at the age of 36. The Body and Its Dangers and Other Stories won a Ferro-Grumley Award and a Lambda-Literary Award and is widely regarded as a classic of American literature.
"Allen Barnett knew how to plait the somber and the sardonic. His work is as light as it is dark, as funny as it is heart-breaking. I met him only once at a gay literary conference in San Francisco and, with that instant mixture of sincerity and intimacy for which we Americans are famous, he said to me, "I wish I didn't have to die so young. There's still so much I want to write." Every page is as fresh and immediate as the day he wrote it; we can only prize the masterful stories in this collection and regret there aren't many others." -Edmund White, A Boys Own Story and Genet: A Biography
"Allen Barnett's fiction is true. That is, even when the writing is elegant it is also incisive, heated and revelatory. Each phrase, whether describing alienation or loss, desire or that which is unknowable, lands with a trembling resonance; a graceful touch which can never be forgotten. I'm grateful that his 'fully human' stories have lived to amaze a new generation."-Jewelle Gomez, The Gilda Stories
"Of all the vibrant literature - fiction, memoirs, reporting, criticism, histories - that emerged in the United States during the height of the AIDS epidemic Allen Barnett's The Body and Its Dangers stands out as a dazzling example of how personal and social tragedy can produce brilliant art. Each of these stories deftly and brilliantly exposes the desires, fears, love, and untimely the terrors of being a human and being alive. Barnett's prose is seductive and alluring even as - or especially when - he is gently exposing those the daily disruptive and unsettling realizations that to be human is to be mortal, and to be mortal is to acknowledge the power and beauty of the body."-Michael Bronski, A Queer History of the United States and co-editor of Invisible History: The Collected Poems of Walta Borawski
"Inspiring truth-telling through acute perceptions of the connection between language and life. Allen had the courage to make literature expand to reflect the AIDS experience, the talent to make the petty an intrinsic part of the profound. He knew when to look away and when to look."-Sarah Schulman, Let the Record Show: A Political Historyof ACT UP New York, 1987-1993