Prisoner of Love (book)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Prisoner of Love is Jean Genet's final book, which was posthumously published from manuscripts he was working on at the time of his death. Under its French title, Un Captif Amoureux, the book was first published in Paris by Gallimard in May 1986. Translated into English by Barbara Bray and with an Introduction by Ahdaf Soueif, Prisoner of Love was subsequently published by New York Review Books.

The book is a memoir of Genet's encounters with Palestinian fighters and Black Panthers. Starting in 1970, he had spent two years in the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. Visiting Beirut in September 1982, he found himself in the midst of the Israeli invasion of the city. He was one of the first foreigners to enter Shatila refugee camp after the massacre of hundreds of its inhabitants.

According to Edmund White, "For a book about one of the most ideologically heated conflicts of modern times, Prisoner of Love is curiously cool and unpolemical." As described by Publishers Weekly, "Part anti-Zionist tract, part memoir and philosophical discourse, this uninhibited cascade of images and associations is less a political document than a map of Genet's mental landscape."

Prisoner of Love was staged as a performance piece by JoAnne Akalaitis at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1995.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Prisoner of Love (book)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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