The Lost Language of Cranes: A Novel

Overview

Set in the 1980s against the backdrop of a swiftly gentrifying Manhattan, The Lost Language of Cranes tells the story of twenty-five-year-old Philip Benjamin, who realizes he must come out to his parents after falling in love for the first time with a man. Philip’s parents are facing their own problems: pressure from developers and the loss of their longtime home. But the real threat to the family is Philip’s father’s own struggle with his suppressed homosexuality, realized only in Sunday afternoon visits to gay ...

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The Lost Language of Cranes: A Novel

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Overview

Set in the 1980s against the backdrop of a swiftly gentrifying Manhattan, The Lost Language of Cranes tells the story of twenty-five-year-old Philip Benjamin, who realizes he must come out to his parents after falling in love for the first time with a man. Philip’s parents are facing their own problems: pressure from developers and the loss of their longtime home. But the real threat to the family is Philip’s father’s own struggle with his suppressed homosexuality, realized only in Sunday afternoon visits to gay porn theaters. Philip’s revelation to his parents leads his father to a point of crisis and provokes changes that forever alter the landscape of the family’s lives.

A novel about what we miss - or choose not to see - beneath the surface of our lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Leavitt catches beautifully the terror and passion of new love.” —Dorothy Allison, The Village Voice

“Brilliant, wise . . . It would be hard to overpraise this book; it represents the most assured debut of a novelist in a long time.” —Andrew Harvey, Vogue

“A multilayered work of sensibility, delicate on the surface yet packing [a] punch . . . A tour de force.” —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Vogue
"A brilliant, wise first novel. the delight of the book is Leavitt's style. it flashes with pathos, anger, and camp wit; it rises to a subtle urban lyricism."
New York Times
"A tour de force. a multilayered work of sensibility."
San Francisco Chronicle
"An amazingly perceptive novel."
Village Voice
"It places him firmly among the best young authors of his generation. Leavitt catches beautifully the terror and passion of new love."

Dorothy Allison
New York Times Book Review
"Fascinating. lingers in the mind... Mr. Leavitt's sense of pacing, his graceful sentences and his storytelling ability dovetail nicely."

Philip Lopate
Library Journal
This first novel by the author of Family Dancing, a well-received collection of short stories ( LJ 8/84), reflects both the author's youth and his promise. The story focuses on Philip Benjamin, a 25-year-old New Yorker, somewhat naive but definitely gay, who is involved in his first ``serious'' romance. This situation is complicated by the struggle of Philip's father to deal more openly with his own longstanding, but thus far closeted, homosexual inclinations. With Philip's coming out, father is thrown into even greater turmoil, mother begins to realize the complete truth, and all are forced to reexamine the ties that bind them. Leavitt again proves adept at looking into the complexities of familial relationships and generational differences. At times the work seems self-indulgent and just a bit trite but is nonetheless recommended. David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620407028
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 409,811
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Leavitt’s fiction includes the collection Family Dancing and the novels While England Sleeps, The Body of Jonah Boyd, The Indian Clerk (finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), and The Two Hotel Francforts. He is also the author of two nonfiction works, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Florence, A Delicate Case. He is professor of English at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and edits the literary magazine Subtropics.

www.davidleavittwriter.com

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