Position:Book review

**** Grief By Andrew Holleran Capital losses.

An unnamed, middle-aged narrator has just buried his mother in Florida after caring for her for 12 years. He eagerly moves to Washington, D.C. to teach a university seminar on Literature and AIDS, escape his old "non-life," and start over. He crosses paths with the unnamed landlord of his Dupont Circle townhouse, also in his mid-50s, who became celibate after losing many friends to AIDS in the 1980s. Th rough his long night walks through the city and his nearly obsessive reading of Mary Todd Lincoln's letters and the overwhelming despair contained in them, Holleran's narrator initially finds only guilt in his grief for his mother, to whom he never admitted his homosexuality--until he starts to engage with the living.

Hyperion. 150 pages. $19.95. ISBN: 1401302505

Los Angeles Times ****1/2

"Andrew Holleran is not only one of the most accomplished homosexual writers in the United States; he has proved over a long career to be the one most resolute in delineating the gay experience in America within the broader context of civil society. His new novel, Grief , is likely to be seen as his most socially and politically significant work yet." JAMES MCCOURT

Seattle Times ****1/2

"The quirks of each character are subtly, flavorfully drawn.... And Holleran captures the contradictory character of our capital city--its wealth, its poverty, its idealistic past, its compromised present--with a rare facility." MICHAEL UPCHURCH Washington Post ****1/2

"This slender volume conjures up a rich and deeply seductive, satisfying world, one that welcomes readers gay, straight, single, coupled or otherwise." ELIZABETH HAND

Time Out New York ****

"Reading missives that the terminally bereaved Mary penned after her husband was assassinated, the narrator meditates on survivor's guilt--how we can never quite put the past behind us, even though we need to in order to live." SEAN KENNEDY

Entertainment Weekly ***1/2

"Our hero finds some consolation reading (at an implausibly slow pace) the letters of Mary Todd Lincoln, semiprofessional mourner, and tries to...

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