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Family Dancing

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  716 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Tender, unsettling, and amusing, these stories present families all unhappy in their own different ways. A mother who presides over her local Parents of Lesbians and Gays chapter has trouble accepting her son's lover. A recently separated couple's compulsion to maintain a twenty-six-year tradition seems to magnify futility. The New York Times called this collection "astoni ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published 1988 by Penguin (first published 1983)
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Dança de Família é uma colectânea de contos, que David Leavitt escreveu aos 22 anos. O elo de ligação entre eles é a família e os sentimentos que nela habitam: o amor, o desamor, a união, a desunião...
"cada família abriga um estranho no seu seio."

Território - A homossexualidade. A aceitação e compreensão por parte da família e do próprio.
Contando os meses - A doença. Uma mulher com cancro. O tempo de vida contado. A aproximação da morte. A dor de abandonar os filhos.
O chalé perdido - O divórcio.
In un'epoca che ti vuole SuperStar a quindici anni e scrittore arrivato e maturo già al tuo primo esordio, Ballo di famiglia pare davvero un'opera aliena, l'esordio di un ventenne già maturo, formato, un ragazzo che già aveva capito tutto della vita, o quasi. E' molto per un ventenne, eppure, è ancora troppo poco.
Lodato con affezionato stupore dalla Pivano, il giovane Leavitt è capace di una introspezione psicologica profondissima, una conoscenza dell'animo femminile che pare incredibile riscon
Carmo Santos
O amor nas suas diversas faces, que tanto podem trazer felicidade como dor, famílias desajustadas, ambientes tensos - foram muito raros os momentos de felicidade nestes contos.Na verdade poderiam ter sido todos reunidos numa só história de uma família numerosa. Os vários ambientes onde se desenrolam são muito semelhantes; há quase sempre uma moradia com piscina, mulheres com baixa auto-estima por excesso de peso, amores desencontrados, homossexualidade em quase todos (não foi surpresa descobrir ...more
Senso di soffocamento

Alla fine di questa serie di racconti si chiude il libro e si prende un gran respiro.
Perché si prova una sensazione di soffocamento, di asfissia seguendo le storie dei personaggi.
I protagonisti dei racconti sono prigionieri dei loro pensieri, della razionalizzazione di ogni emozione la cui espressione, quando avviene, è vissuta come portatrice di devastazioni e di una paralizzante incapacità di farvi fronte.
Uomini e donne, madri e figli, mariti e mogli, ognuno un piccolo pi
Scott Smith
To say that David Leavitt is a consummate writer of gay literary fiction doesn't do him justice. Although many of his characters are gay and many of his stories explore gay issues, Leavitt is a consummate writer no matter what subject he tackles. In Family Dancing, published in 1983 and Leavitt's very first story collection, we see an author already in full command of his craft. Whether tracking a mother dying of cancer ("Counting Months"), witnessing the dissolution of a family ("The Lost Cotta ...more
[These notes were made in 1989:]. This collection of short stories had a pleasant surprise at the end - a story I knew and liked from a collection of Christopher Street stories I once owned. Leavitt is a young gay writer, but his stories are not all "about" being gay. They do not shy away, however, from the family & personal consequences of being gay, and some of the stories - notably the first one, "Territory" - are directly about that. His characters are far from stereotypical, and in one ...more
David's first book is, alas, probably his best known, if only because of the fame of "Territory," the first gay-themed story to appear in the NEW YORKER (way back in 82 when the author was a wee 21). I love "Territory" and make an effort to teach it every time I do a short-story class. There are many other stories here worth rediscovering: I was a fan of "Danny in Transit," "Dedicated," and the title story back in the 80s. Do they stand up? Sure, they do---even though David's talent continues to ...more
Loved these short stories -- maybe the first one most of all. Such a good lesson in being well-intentioned, but having trouble with the reality. These stories rang true, and I felt the author wrote with kindness toward all characters, even the ones who could so easily be vilified. At the heart of all these stories was family, and each was so visual that I can almost close my eyes and picture certain scenes like snapshots.
David Leavitt is my "comfort food" author. I always go back to him when I'm hankering for something reliably nurturing but not too heavy. He doesn't blow my mind but he does consistently engage it. This collection of short stories, his first, is typical Leavitt fare: tastefully observant short stories -- some gay, some not -- that dip into quiet moments and quirky ones alike with equal aplomb.
La Stamberga dei Lettori
In un'epoca che ti vuole SuperStar a quindici anni e scrittore arrivato e maturo già al tuo primo esordio, Ballo di famiglia pare davvero un'opera aliena, l'esordio di un ventenne già maturo, formato, un ragazzo che già aveva capito tutto della vita, o quasi. E' molto per un ventenne, eppure, è ancora troppo poco.
Lodato con affezionato stupore dalla Pivano, il giovane Leavitt è capace di una introspezione psicologica profondissima, una conoscenza dell'animo femminile che pare incredibile riscont
Antonia Jackson
I am glad that I persevered beyond the first story which was so introspective and self serving. The rest of the stories were interesting with a wider spectrum of human interactions dealing with divorce, cancer, siblings as well as homosexuality and Jewishness.
This collection was the 30th anniversary. The subject matter he wrote about was bold and edgy for that era. I enjoy when short story collections have themes and this seemed to be the tensions in families that even if released remain intact. I liked his abrupt endings and often his style had hints of a vastly different winter Joyce Carol Oates. Like the endings but his writing speaks on it's own. I'd like to read more.
These are the stories behind the scenes of a Norman Rockwell painting. These are the stories of families that look so good on the surface, but what's really going on is going to cause massive scars that may never heal. Leavitt worked with the same theme: a family member who either never felt like they belonged or because of a recent event knows they won't be a part of the family much longer. All of the stories are about isolation either by choice or circumstances, and obviously, they're not happ ...more
Mitch James
An undervalued short fiction writer for sure. Read him.
I understand why this book is so pivotal to the history of the American short story collection.
The stories start of horrible but get progressively better. over all not bad
Debbie Robson
I generally don't read short stories but a collection by David Leavitt was too hard to resist. Although the stories are for the most part slightly depressing, his skill as a writer won me over. In several of the stories the tension between characters builds to such an extent that I couldn't put the book down. Family Dancing, Out Here and Dedication particularly are gems.
I ordinarily shy away from short fiction, because I hate the feeling of just getting to know the characters and then having them yanked away. But I LOVE this collection, which I read sometime in the '80s. He was a hot young writer then, and went on to write a disappointing first novel. But much later he wrote The Indian Clerk, which I loved.
I loved this book of short stories and consider it some of David Leavitt's best writing, even though it heralds from the early part of his career as a writer. These poignant, beautiful little stories offer sharp but well fleshed out snapshots of family lives in ways that play with your emotions and touch you deeply. Fine writing indeed!
I read all of Leavitt within a six-month period, because I couldn't believe how consistent he was, how his stories and novels engage and teach and empathize and touch. His characters are real people; his dialogue is palpable. Leavitt is full of talent.
Like Ford's Rock Springs, this one falls back to a few plot lines too often and too easily. Still, a good collection. Love, love, love "Territory." Leavitt is one of my favorite queer authors, and I think this is his best work.
Collin Bost
Leavitt's first book, published when Leavitt was 23. I prefer the weirder, less-than-perfect stories, such as "Aliens," "Danny in Transit," "Radiation," and the title story.
A book of short stories portraying the sad, gritty despairing aspect of family life and the life of families - quite realistic, in other words.
Mikael Kuoppala
Leavitt's first and by far weakest work still manages to deliver some substantia stories dealing with the american family.
the stars are for the title story. territory and dedicated were terrible stories and i didn't read the rest of the book.
As another reader wrote, Leavitt is not just an excellent gay writer. He is an amazing writer. Period.
Complex yet accessible stories about family entanglements. David Leavitt is a great short story writer.
This collection of short stories did not survive a re-reading. Just one thing to say--YIKES!
Sep 14, 2007 Larry added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Another fun read. He is interesting and can use most any subject as one of his topics.
L a n c e
once territory got going i couldn't believe what i was reading.
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  • The Married Man
  • Plays Well with Others
  • Surprising Myself
  • Martin and John
  • Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall
  • The Fancy Dancer
  • Eighty-Sixed
  • The Life to Come and Other Stories
  • Wrong
  • The Beauty of Men
  • Buddies
  • Object of My Affection
  • A Perfect Waiter
  • Kept Boy
  • The Men from the Boys
  • Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story
  • You Can Say You Knew Me When
  • Great American Short Stories
Leavitt is a graduate of Yale University and a professor at the University of Florida, where he is the co-director of the creative writing program. He is also the editor of Subtropics magazine, The University of Florida's literary review.

Leavitt, who is openly gay, has frequently explored gay issues in his work. He divides his time between Florida and Tuscany, Italy.
More about David Leavitt...
The Lost Language of Cranes While England Sleeps The Two Hotel Francforts The Indian Clerk Arkansas: Three Novellas

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