It is the Saturday after the 2016 presidential election, and in a plush weekend house in Connecticut, an intimate group of friends, New Yorkers all, has gathered to recover from what they consider the greatest political catastrophe of their lives. They have just sat down to tea when their hostess, Eva Lindquist, proposes a dare. Who among them would be willing to ask Siri how to assassinate Donald Trump? Liberal and like-minded—editors, writers, a decorator, a theater producer, and one financial guy, Eva’s husband, Bruce—the friends have come to the countryside in the hope of restoring, away from the news cycle and the post-election delirium, the bubble in which they have grown used to living. Yet with the exception of one brash and obnoxious book editor, none is willing to accept Eva’s challenge.
BLOOMSBURY, 2003 (COMPRISING THE MARBLE QUILT, A PLACE I’VE NEVER BEEN, AND FAMILY DANCING.)
This edition gathers together the stories from Family Dancing, A Place I’ve Never Been, and The Marble Quilt, which has never before appeared in paperback.
Collected Stories is published by Bloomsbury. The collection also appeared in the UK, also from Bloomsbury, as The Stories of David Leavitt.
It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape.
Three stories of escape and exile. In “Saturn Street,” a disaffected screenwriter in Los Angeles delivers lunches to homebound AIDS patients, only to find himself falling in love with one of them. In “The Wooden Anniversary,” Nathan and Celia, familiar characters from my story collections, reunite in Italy after a five-year separation. And in “The Term Paper Artist,” a writer named David Leavitt, hiding out at his father’s house in the aftermath of a publishing scandal, experiences literary rejuvenation when he agrees to write term papers for UCLA undergraduates in exchange for sex.
On a January morning in 1913, G. H. Hardy—eccentric, charismatic, and, at thirty-seven, already considered the greatest British mathematician of his age—receives in the mail a mysterious envelope covered with Indian stamps. Inside he finds a rambling letter from a self-professed mathematical genius who claims to be on the brink of finding a solution to the Riemann Hypothesis, the most important unsolved mathematical problem of all time.
Set in the 1980s against the backdrop of a swiftly gentrifying Manhattan, The Lost Language of Cranes tells the story of twenty-five-year-old Philip Benjamin, who realizes he must come out to his parents after falling in love for the first time with a man. Philip’s parents are facing their own crisis: pressure from developers and the loss of their longtime home. But the real threat to the family is Philip’s father’s own struggle with his latent homosexuality, realized only in Sunday afternoon visits to gay porn theaters. Philip’s admission to his parents leads his father to a point of crisis and provokes changes that forever alter the landscape of the family’s lives.
One of the most important openings in the path to the modern computer was made by the British mathematician Alan Turing—remarkably, while he was solving an entirely different problem. Shy and insecure about his middle-class origins, considered eccentric by those who did not know him well, Turing could show those close to him sly humor and bracing candor—even about his homosexuality. He also had one of the keenest minds of the twentieth century.