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Grief Hardcover – May 31, 2006
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Beginning with "Dancer from the Dance" in 1978, and continuing through the plague years with "Nights in Aruba" (novel), "Ground Zero" (essays), "The Beauty of Men" (novel) and, most recently, "In September the Light Changes" (stories), Holleran has developed a well earned reputation for addressing the needs and concerns of an aging homosexual population. His characters are survivors - not just of the AIDS scourge, but of an era of epic homophobia, intolerance and what was once referred to as the homosexual lifestyle (a repressive existence of closets, secrets and anonymous sex).
"Grief" follows our protagonist from his Gainesville home to Washington, D. C. where he has accepted a University post as guest lecturer on the Literature of AIDS. Having recently buried his invalid mother, our lonely middle-aged hero rents a room from a dapper civil servant who also deals in antiques. The two men fall into a quiet and cordial domesticity without ever forging any sort of intimate or lasting bond. For friendship he turns to his old acquaintance Frank, likewise a survivor, but one willing to embrace and exploit whatever life has left to offer. Finally there is a beautifully articulated encounter with the aged mother of a friend lost twenty years ago to AIDS.
Alone in his room he discovers a book of letters by Mary Todd Lincoln, whose documented grief stricken final years prove allegorical to this narrative.Read more ›
I have read practically everything Mr. Holleran ever wrote, including his many incisive columns over the years in CHRISTOPHER STREET. Along with Edmund White, Paul Russell and Colm Toibin, he is one of a small number of authors writing about the gay experience whom I will always read. He writes beautiful, descriptive prose and gives a myriad of details about his three main characters as well as the City of Washington that the narrator doesn't like very much. Holleran makes the landlord come alive: "He had his house, he had his friends, his WILL & GRACE-- and that was it. At fifty-five things had stopped happening to him, I suspected. Nothing happened to him anymore. Or rather: Everything that did had already happened before-- many, many times. . . He reminded me of an older America that had never changed its values of thrift, cleanliness, and order; the only difference was that he was homosexual. . . The homosexual part, however, was now inactive. He was now a sort of homosexual emeritus." We also learn that the landlord was more attractive now than when he was younger, although his face indicates that "his looks had not brought him peace of mind.Read more ›
My city is New York, not Washington, but otherwise I could be Holleran's unnamed protagonist. I'm a writer, gay, 50, and alone. My family is dead, and I can't count the number of people in my life I've lost to AIDS over the years. I am grieving, not merely for them but for a way of life that has vanished. I've become Holleran's hero--that guy you see in the museum, the theater, the restaurant, always by himself. I'm too young to be so solitary and too old to do anything about it. I am in a state of suspended animation, clinging to my grief, waiting for the courage and motivation to change my fortune.
How many of us did I just describe? Well, Andrew Holleran describes all of us. I read a NY Times review of GRIEF the other day, and I immediately bought a copy. This novel speaks for me, and it also makes me feel less alone--there are obviously quite a few of us out here in the dark. Holleran has given us a beautiful voice, and I thank him for it.
And now I'm going to read his other books. I want to see more of his biography of me--his biography of all of us.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a nice, somewhat sad little book with no real emotional power. Someone has compared Holleran to Hemingway and Fitzgerald and I would say that comparison is way way off. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ken Howard
This writer is one of my favorites, but his writings of late are very negative and sometimes hard to read, but coming from the years of coming out and Gay Liberation, it isn't hard... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alan R. Dennen
Brilliant as always, Andrew Holleran has more than lived up to my expectations with his book, "Grief." In this book he displays his usual deep insights and sensitivity. Read morePublished on July 4, 2014 by dd
I have always had Andrew Holleran at the top of my favourite gay authors and "Grief" continues the high standard of his work. Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by Anthony McGill
I first read Andrew Holleran in the late '70's, with his first novel, Dancer From the Dance, as a young and rather naïve undergraduate. Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by Michael Travis
I had no expectations picking up this book but, if I had, my reaction would likely have been disappointment. It is a dirge in novel form... Read morePublished on September 6, 2011 by aproductofsociety
Mr. Hollerans overwhelming negativity sucks the life out of me, but his books are captivating in that they are so well written. I could only give three stars though.Published on August 2, 2011 by D. Casto
I am an aging gay man. I have lost both my parents and have buried two lovers. I know well what grief is--and this is not it.Published on February 19, 2011 by T. E. Roden