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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Lost Language of Cranes (1986) by David Leavitt


Book Review
The Lost Language of Cranes (1986)
by David Leavitt

   The Lost Language of Cranes is a father/son gay coming of age novel set against the back-drop of the AIDS era in New York.  It's a world where the closeted gay father  seeks furtive pleasures in a gay porno theater, while the son  slowly moves into his own gay adulthood while he works as an editor of romance novels.  It is a world permeated with Laura Ashley and Häagen-Dazs ice cream, the 1980's,  It also incorporates an African American lesbian with conservative parents, and the co-op movement in New York real estate.  A heady combination.  You can smell the Laura Ashley pot-por-ri.

 And of course, AIDS, which lurks in the background but never emerges as foreground.  No one gets AIDS, no one dies of AIDS.  No one talks about people dying from AIDS.  It seems a strange thing to say about the novel that represents gay New York culture in the 1980's.  Isn't AIDS THE story from that period?  

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