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In September, the Light Changes: The Stories of Andrew Holleran

Holleran, Andrew

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9780452281714: In September, the Light Changes: The Stories of Andrew Holleran

Andrew Holleran's first novel, Dancer from the Dance, is recognized as a classic portrait of gay life in New York in the 1970s. His subsequent works, from Nights in Aruba and The Beauty of Men to the essays in Ground Zero, established Holleran as the preeminent voice in the contemporary gay literary canon. His fiction has earned comparisons to that of Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and now Holleran returns with a collection of sixteen powerful short stories. Exploring the lives and times of those who have lived past the exuberance of youth, these tales make for a moving journey across landscapes of regret and loss, shame and pride, loneliness and love. With a surprising yet sensitive comic touch, Andrew Holleran has written his most mature work to date--a poignant, polished collection.

"Like John Cheever's work, these stories are suffused with a sense of magic and the possibility of grace." -- San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

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Review:

"Who cares what straight people think about us?" complains one of the characters in Andrew Holleran's first collection of short stories. "I don't care if they understand what I do in bed. I don't even understand what I do in bed, I could care less what they think about it." And just as many of the gay men in these 16 stories (only three of which have been previously published) refuse--or simply feel no need--to explain themselves, so too does Holleran explore his characters' lives with no effort to justify them. His witty, urbane characters who vacation in Key West or Fire Island are not the only types of gay men, of course, just those Holleran has chosen to write about. He writes on his own terms, and his characters--even when they are struggling to navigate through desire or loss--live on their own terms, not as stereotypes but as people with complex emotional lives.

Holleran's stories are crafted with such polished prose--slyly humorous and achingly poignant in turn--that one is immediately struck by their beauty. Every story seems to have its share of brilliant dialogue or descriptive passages, like the storyteller in "The Hamburger Man" who "didn't have the very best gossip--but ... belonged to that class of people who know one or two people who do." And in the final story, which gives the book its title, Holleran shows that he's equally adept at capturing the fleeting beauty of nature, in a setting "annealed by a delicate silver light, the most beautiful light of the whole year, a light that was both warm (if one lay in the sun, as he did now) and cool (if one stood in the shade)."

About the Author:

Andrew Holleran is the author of Dancer from the Dance, Nights in Aruba, The Beauty of Men, and a collection of essays, Ground Zero.

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