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Download Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave in PDF and EPUB - Free eBooks

Timothy Conigrave's Holding the Man: A Memoir of Love and Loss

Holding the Man is a memoir by Australian writer and actor Timothy Conigrave, published in 1995. It tells the story of his 15-year relationship with John Caleo, who died of AIDS-related complications in 1992. The book has been widely praised for its honesty, humor, and heartbreak, and has won several awards, including the United Nations Human Rights Award for Nonfiction. It has also been adapted into a play, a film, and an audiobook.

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What is Holding the Man about?

Holding the Man is a memoir that chronicles Timothy Conigrave's life from his childhood in Melbourne to his adulthood in Sydney. It focuses on his love affair with John Caleo, whom he met at Xavier College, a Catholic boys' school, when they were both 16 years old. The book covers their joys and struggles as they come out, move in together, pursue their careers, and face the challenges of the AIDS crisis.

Why is Holding the Man important?

Holding the Man is important because it is one of the first and most influential Australian books to depict a gay relationship in a realistic and positive way. It is also a powerful testimony of the impact of AIDS on the gay community and society at large. The book has been described as "a love letter to a generation" by David Marr, who wrote the foreword to the Penguin edition. The book has also been praised for its literary merit, its emotional impact, and its cultural significance.

How to download Holding the Man in epub format?

If you want to read Holding the Man on your e-reader or mobile device, you can download it in epub format from various online sources. One of them is OceanofPDF, which offers free download of books in PDF and EPUB formats. You can also find other websites that provide epub files of Holding the Man by searching on Google or other search engines. However, you should be careful about the quality and legality of these files, as some of them may be pirated or corrupted.

Summary of Holding the Man

Part One: The Early Years

Meeting John Caleo

The book begins with Timothy Conigrave recalling his first encounter with John Caleo at Xavier College in 1976. Timothy was attracted to John's athletic physique and handsome face, while John was intrigued by Timothy's artistic talent and outgoing personality. They became friends and soon developed romantic feelings for each other.

Coming out and falling in love

Timothy and John decided to come out to their families and friends, which was not easy in the conservative and homophobic society of the 1970s. They faced rejection, ridicule, and violence from some of their peers and relatives, but they also found support and acceptance from others. They also discovered the gay scene in Melbourne, where they met other gay men and explored their sexuality. They fell deeply in love and vowed to stay together forever.

Dealing with family and school issues

Timothy and John had to deal with various family and school issues during their teenage years. Timothy's parents were supportive of his sexuality, but his father was an alcoholic and his mother was depressed. John's parents were devout Catholics who disapproved of his relationship with Timothy and tried to separate them. They also had to cope with the academic pressure and the strict rules of Xavier College, which often conflicted with their personal freedom and happiness.

Part Two: The Middle Years

Moving to Sydney and pursuing acting

After graduating from high school, Timothy and John moved to Sydney to pursue their dreams. Timothy enrolled in the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), where he studied acting and met other aspiring actors. John studied physiotherapy at the University of Sydney, where he excelled in his studies and made new friends. They rented a flat together and enjoyed their independence and adventure in the big city.

Exploring sexuality and relationships

Timothy and John also explored their sexuality and relationships in Sydney. They agreed to have an open relationship, which allowed them to have sex with other men without jeopardizing their love for each other. They also experimented with drugs, such as marijuana, ecstasy, and cocaine, which enhanced their sexual experiences but also caused some problems. They had to deal with jealousy, insecurity, boredom, and temptation, as well as the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Facing the AIDS epidemic

In the early 1980s, Timothy and John became aware of the AIDS epidemic that was spreading among the gay community. They witnessed the fear, stigma, and death that accompanied the disease, and they tried to protect themselves by using condoms and getting tested regularly. However, they also faced discrimination, ignorance, and hostility from some sectors of society, such as the media, the government, and the church. They also had to cope with the loss of some of their friends who died of AIDS.

Part Three: The Final Years

Testing positive for HIV

In 1985, Timothy tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. He was devastated by the news and feared for his life. He told John about his diagnosis, who was shocked but supportive. John decided to get tested as well, but his result was negative. This created a new challenge for their relationship, as they had to deal with the difference in their health status and the uncertainty of their future.

Caring for John and coping with grief

In 1987, John developed AIDS-related symptoms, such as pneumonia, weight loss, and dementia. He was hospitalized several times and required constant care from Timothy and his family. Timothy devoted himself to looking after John, despite his own declining health and emotional stress. He also sought comfort from his friends, his therapist, and his spirituality. He witnessed John's suffering and deterioration until he died in 1992.

Writing Holding the Man as a tribute

After John's death, Timothy decided to write Holding the Man as a tribute to their love story. He wanted to share their memories, feelings, and experiences with the world. He also wanted to raise awareness about AIDS and gay rights. He worked on the book for three years, with the help of his editor Ray Coffey. He finished the manuscript just before he died of AIDS-related complications in 1994.


What are the main themes of Holding the Man?

Holding the Man explores several themes that are relevant to both gay and straight readers. Some of these themes are: - Love: The book celebrates the power and beauty of love between two people who overcome many obstacles to stay together. - Loss: The book portrays the pain and grief of losing a loved one to a terminal illness. - Identity: The book examines the process of discovering one's sexuality and finding one's place in society. - Courage: The book shows the courage of facing adversity and discrimination with dignity and resilience. - Hope: The book expresses the hope of finding meaning and joy in life despite its challenges.

What are the critical responses to Holding the Man?

What are the adaptations of Holding the Man?

Holding the Man has been adapted into various forms of media, such as: - Play: The book was adapted into a stage play by Tommy Murphy in 2006. It premiered at the Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney and toured nationally and internationally. It won several awards, including the NSW Premier's Literary Award and the AWGIE Award. - Film: The book was adapted into a feature film by Neil Armfield in 2015. It starred Ryan Corr as Timothy and Craig Stott as John, with supporting roles by Guy Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia, and Geoffrey Rush. It received critical acclaim and several nominations and awards, including the AACTA Award and the AWGIE Award. - Audiobook: The book was adapted into an audiobook by Bolinda Publishing in 2016. It was narrated by Stephen Phillips, who won the Audie Award for his performance.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Holding the Man:

  • Is Holding the Man a true story?

Yes, Holding the Man is a true story based on Timothy Conigrave's memoir of his relationship with John Caleo.

  • How did Timothy Conigrave die?

Timothy Conigrave died of AIDS-related complications in 1994, at the age of 34.

  • How did John Caleo die?

John Caleo died of AIDS-related complications in 1992, at the age of 33.

  • Where can I watch Holding the Man?

You can watch Holding the Man on various streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.

  • Where can I buy Holding the Man?

You can buy Holding the Man from various online and offline retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Penguin Random House.



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