TOPMAN ¶ Online Writings by and about John Preston

John Preston Sets His Priorities

April 1994

By Susie Bright

[In The Best American Erotica 2003, readers chose John Preston's story "Absolution" as #35 on a list of the 100 best stories published in the anthology during the past decade. In her entry for the story, editor Susie Bright describes how "Absolution" came to be used in the 1994 anthology.]

I phoned John a few days before he died, asking him if he could fax me permission to run this story. After listening to him barely able to answer the phone, I started crying. "John, I said, "this is so fucked up . . . here you are, dying of AIDS – and I'm calling to get a publishing contract signed. I'm sure you could care less."

"On the contrary," he said, "it's really the only thing I do care about."

Return to
Topman's Timeline: A Documentary Biography of John Preston

[ HOME ] [ Topman: Online Writings by and about John Preston ] [ E-mail ]

The quotation on this page is fair use of a writing that is copyrighted in the name of the author.

Remaining text:

Creative Commons License: Some Rights ReservedThis text, or a variation on it, was originally published at as part of Topman: Online Writings by and about John Preston. Copyright © 2004-6 Dusk Peterson. Some rights reserved. The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( You may freely print, post, e-mail, share, or otherwise distribute the text for noncommercial purposes, provided that you include this paragraph. The author's policies on derivative works and fan works are available online (