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In September, the Light Changes: The Stories of Andrew Holleran Paperback – May 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452281717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452281714
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,751,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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)." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Holleran is a highly acclaimed novelist whose best-selling Dancer from the Dance (LJ 8/78) was a landmark in gay literature. Succeeding novelsANights in Aruba (LJ 7/83) and The Beauty of Men (LJ 6/15/96)Aand essays in Ground Zero (LJ 9/15/88) established him firmly in the gay literary canon. Here, Holleran pulls together 16 beautifully crafted short stories written over a 20-year period, each of which deals with perceptions of gay people, gay events, and gay places through the often ironic haze of half-remembered, garbled time. The continuous use of omniscient narrators provides the necessary distance for viewing layers of conflict in these characters' lives. The results are poignancy, ribald humor, pensiveness, keen discernment, and unsettling apprehension. For character studies like these, Holleran can be compared to de Maupassant. For larger issues, we might look to another Southern writer, Shirley Ann Grau. Holleran's evocative title captures the heart of his matter, much as Grau's phrase "a sea change" does in her short fiction. What ultimately shines after the tempering and burnishing of our lives is a seasoned, indomitable spirit. Recommended for public and academic libraries, and for special collections of gay literature.ARoger W. Durbin, Univ. of Akron Lib.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This collection of short stories is very good reading and Holleran's books are some of my most favorites which I will always keep.
So. Calif book reader
I truly enjoyed this book: the beauty of the prose, the sharply drawn characters and the sense of reality that the writing imparts.
Alex Soong
I found myself finishing one story and then continuing right on into the next chapter without stopping, they are so interesting.
Joseph J. Hanssen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I often return to books for repeated readings when my first impressions are lasting. Short story collections by such authors as Andrew Holleran renew the vigor of initial impact, the joys of lingering. IN SEPTEMBER THE LIGHT CHANGES is a treasure of smaller stories that prove once again that Holleran is one of our best writers today. Without depending on one locale, familiar and constant faces, recurring themes to keep us aligned, Holleran strings together tales like the best of Song Cycles by Schubert and Schumann (and Ned Rorem, more poignantly!) and allows us to absorb his luxuriant prose through very complete novellas about love, age, lust, and friends. His hour is magical...and never more evident than in his final In Septmeber the Light Changes. Smart, elegant, and yet very much from the heart.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Hanssen on August 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have been a great admirer of Andrew Holleran for many years, and have always enjoyed his stories he wrote for Christopher Street magazine. Every month I waited with anticipation for the next issue for his latest writing. He always writes from the heart and these 16 stories prove it. Andrew's writing is so polished and easy to read, you feel you are listening to him tell these stories in person. Some of these stories are pleasant to read, and others are very sad because they deal with loss(AIDS), loneliness, getting older, and still having desires, especially to be young again, and the yearning for youth.
I found myself finishing one story and then continuing right on into the next chapter without stopping, they are so interesting. Maybe its because these stories relate to my generation and the times I lived through in the 70's and early 80's. I feel this book will interest anybody, there is so much beauty and history in his writing. Andrew Holleran, I believe, has not been given enough recognition or credit for his brilliant writing. I truly enjoyed this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon Miller-Carrasco on May 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Andrew Holleran is an example of why I read books. _The Beauty of Men_ will always be with me, I suspect, somewhere in the back of my mind, as the measure of what writers are "supposed" to do with their art. This collection of short stories I loved almost as much. Mr. H can, technically, set up sentences that are complicated and still lucid. Artistically, he can designate a character with an amazing minimum of details; it's like he knows just the right characteristics to show you to make his characters stand out. None of his characters are perfect, and most are struggling with growing older and being lonely, but I cared about all of them. Joshua, in "Blorts," for example, was hilarious. Morgan, in "Petunias," was self-absorbed and afraid, but struggling to rise above it all and even though the story is tragic, it still ends on a mystifyingly hopeful sentence. Mr. Holleran might not churn out novels every year, but when he does put one out, I'm always deeply affected by it. I wonder, though, why no author's picture on book jackets?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alan Scheer on May 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant collection of stories, one of the strongest I've read ever. Each story is a marvel, the prose, the emotions, the characters. Holleran has a brilliant sense of place and he is very specific about the period of time that he writes about. Aids is barely mentioned in these stories, although the disease does appear towards the end of the collection. The saddest thing for me as a reader is that Holleran is still being marginalized as a writer. Certainly is area of knowledge and interest is the gay demi-monde of New York/Fire Island circa 1970 +...but which great short fiction writer throughout history did not have his favourite epoch that he wrote about over and over again. Is HOlleran any different then an Updike or a John Cheever or even the master himself Anton Chekhov? This is a collection of great short fiction that speaks to all readers who adore brilliant prose. This book has become one of my favourites of all time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cloud O'Connor on July 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
One thing that Chua does exceedingly well is stylizing. Nevermind the story (if it were a bit more connected, I'd give him 5 stars). He is brassy, he is vulnerable. He is vulgar, he is tender. This is the sort of book that requires much of its readers. Those who take it at face value will hate it (as some of the reviewers above have). The narrator may not be likeable, but then again there is a reason why the author made him that way. Those who prefer to be spoonfed should turn to Stephen King or Higgins or Danielle Steel.
I like this book because it has guts. It'll make you wince and gag and chew your lips to shred. Chua has the power of a very keen poet. Highly recommended to writers or those with a deep appreciation for prose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim Lowe on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The language in these short stories is at once powerful and delicate. I was reminded of F. Scott Fitzgerald several times. (Hey. He married a drag queen and drank himself to death for art. What's not gay about THAT?) I'm drawn to gay writing but often miss great writing. Not in this wonderful collection. They are both in there and in great abundance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex Soong on March 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I truly enjoyed this book: the beauty of the prose, the sharply drawn characters and the sense of reality that the writing imparts. However, one cannot help noticing the loneliness and restrained sadness that suffuses nearly all the stories. Andrew re-creates on paper, a world wherein sex is abundant, love a rarity and romance non-existent. This book might have sunk into pessimism and gloom but Andrew lifts it up to rarefied layers with his sheer talent for description. Whether he's painting a word picture of a graduate house, a lifeless station platform, a small town or a big city, the precision and economy of his style are extraordinary. The plots are simple, but each one opens a private door through which one catches glimpses of human hopes and fears, unfulfilled yearnings and unending dreams.
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