Dancer from the Dance ) captures the pain of a generation of gay men who have survived the AIDS epidemic and reached m"/>
 

Grief

Andrew Holleran, Author
Andrew Holleran, Author . Hyperion $19.95 (150p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0250-4
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Paperback - 150 pages - 978-1-4013-0894-0
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An understated, eloquent novel by Holleran (Dancer from the Dance ) captures the pain of a generation of gay men who have survived the AIDS epidemic and reached middle age yearning for fidelity, tenderness and intimacy. The unnamed, silver-haired narrator has just relocated from Florida, where he cared for his recently deceased mother for the last 12 years, to Washington, D.C., to "start life over" and teach a college seminar on literature and AIDS. He rents a room in a townhouse near Dupont Circle, his solitude deepened by his awareness that he and his gay, celibate landlord, a "homosexual emeritus," form only a semblance of a household. The narrator spends his days exploring the streets of the capital and his nights engrossed in the letters of Mary Todd Lincoln, who held onto her grief and guilt at her husband's death much like the narrator hordes his guilt for never having come out of the closet to his mother—and for having survived the 1980s and '90s. Holleran makes his coiled reticence speak volumes on attachment, aging, sex and love in small scenes as compelling as they are heartbreaking. Visiting with his friend Frank, whose willful pragmatism throws the narrator's mourning in sharp relief, prove especially revealing. Frank manages to have a steady boyfriend, while for the narrator, his landlord and most of their friends, love and partnership seem impossibly intimate. Until its terse, piercing conclusion, Holleran's elegiac narrative possesses its power in the unsaid. (June)

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