GLAAD Award nominated documentarian Sheila Nevins pens love letter to Larry Kramer in new book

By GLAAD |
June 5, 2017

Sheila Nevins, a multiple GLAAD Media Award nominee, has released a new book, 'You Don't Look Your Age... and Other Fairy Tales." Nevins will be discussing her new book in conversation with Larry Kramer on June 7th and 7pm ET at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square.

As President of HBO Documentary Films for over 30 years, Nevins has rightfully been credited with creating the modern documentary, and working behind the scenes as a documentarian, Nevins has truly seen it all.

Nevins experienced obstacles at every path—as a daughter, a mother, and as a woman pursuing a career in an industry she loved. 'You Don’t Look Your Age' is Nevins’ chance to tell how things really were, and are, for countless women. Topics she tackles are: frenemies, infidelity, plastic surgery, dieting, Viagra, the heartbreak of young first love, the discomforts of growing old, and a celebration in the long run of what life has to offer.

When you read the book, also hear in your head the voices of the following people that are reading various chapters for the audio version of the book: Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, Martha Stewart, Diane Von Furstenberg, Audra McDonald, Ellen Burstyn, Christine Baranski, Gloria Steinem, Gloria Vanderbilt, Edie Falco, Rosie O’Donnell, Liz Smith, Kathy Bates, Lily Tomlin, RuPaul, Leslie Stahl, Gayle King, Glenn Close, Jenna Lyons, and Janet Mock among others.

Below is a Q&A between GLAAD and Nevins:

GLAAD: What was your inspiration for 'You Don't Look Your Age... and Other Fairy Tales'?

Sheila Nevins: I had stories to tell that I had kept inside.  I wanted them out. Hence the book. The timing was right.

G: Can you tell us a bit about your poem from the book 'The Larry Kramer'?

SN: Larry was an idol. I loved his fight from afar. Close-up I appreciated his fairness coupled with his sense of outrage. He was and is a man for all seasons. He deserved my attempt at a poem.

G: What were some of the most memorable moments from the time you spent with Larry Kramer during the making of the documentary 'Larry Kramer in Love and Anger'?

Mostly in the editing room. It was there that I could feel his fierce sweetness. His ability to fight for what he loved. In this celluloid room, I believed this man was someone I would dare to know.

G: What do you hope women and other marginalized communities take away from your new book?  

Anyone can express what they feel in words, in deeds, in poetry, and in song. In Art, there can always be resistance.

G: How has the need for documentary films increased in today's political and cultural climate?

Documentaries at their best speak truth. Never has there been a more important time for truth telling.

G: HBO's 'The Trans List' and 'Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures' were both nominated for GLAAD Media Awards this year - what has inspired you to bring LGBTQ content front and center?

I’m for all underdogs. We are all one. We just have to find ourselves in people who appear different. No matter LGBTQ or straight or white or black or pink – we are all hopefully cut from the same human cloth.

G: What's your advice for young LGBTQ documentarians?

LGBTQ Documentarians should champion those who need help in putting up a good fight against injustice. Don’t limit your creativity to your own personal fight. All fights for good and true are one fight.

Be sure to check out Nevins' conversations with HIV and AIDS activist Larry Kramer on June 7th, at 7pm ET in the Union Square Barnes & Noble.

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