“As valuable as Holleran may be as a chronicler of contemporary gay history, he is one of those gay writers whose stylistic prowess and critical intelligence deserves the attention of straight readers as much as that of the gay reading community. . . . The Beauty of Men is an honest attempt to grapple with loneliness and aging without self-pity or sentimentality, and for that reason, it will last.” — Washington Post
Andrew Holleran’s classic Dancer from the Dance became an icon for gay men in the 1970s, portraying a man’s descent from high society Connecticut to a glittering world of hedonism and promiscuity in New York City. In The Beauty of Men, his third novel, he writes a poignant story of loneliness, unfulfilled dreams, and loss of youth, set in the mid-1990s amid the ravaging AIDS crisis.
Forty-seven, gay, and alone, Lark leaves behind his youth and dreams in New York City to care for his dying mother in Florida. Mourning the passing of his glamorous younger self to time and the lives of friends and acquaintances to AIDS, he looks back on his past, to years spent in pursuit of hedonistic pleasures. Middle-aged, gray, and now seemingly invisible to the world around him, Lark has survived while those around him have all been taken. Left with nothing but his memories, he is forced to contemplate the cruel emptiness and bitter loneliness of his life while longing for a stunningly handsome man, who haunts is days and dreams.
Gorgeous and deeply moving, Holleran’s heartbreaking novel is beyond its time; a study of the human condition and our yearning for meaning, purpose, and love in a cold and capricious world.