Leslie's Reviews > The Lost Language of Cranes

The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
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's review
May 22, 11

bookshelves: 2011, 20th-century-fiction
Read from May 21 to 22, 2011

A family in 1980s New York coming to grips with the homosexuality of both the son and the father, the former certainly difficult but the latter far more conflicted and desperate. Leavitt does a wonderful job of showing the terrible toll a life in the closet can take, as Owen struggles to extract himself from the weight of so many years of guilt and fear and shame and secrecy. His misery and his desperate longing to be touched, to be desired, to be known, are moving. In the background is the new reality of AIDS as it begins to reshape gay life. Some of the speeches (especially about coming out) are rather programmatic, sounding like they come from a self-help book or a counselling session rather than from the mouth of living characters, but overall this book is very good, compassionate and involving.

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