Buy the Book

A Novel

By Andrew Holleran

Read Bio
ISBN 10: 1401308945
ISBN 13: 2147483647

Winner of the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award in Literature

Now in paperback, the universally acclaimed novel about loss and yearning

Reeling from the recent death of his invalid mother, an exhausted, lonely professor comes to our nation’s capital to escape his previous life. What he finds there — in his handsome, solitary landlord; in the city’s somber mood and sepulchral architecture; and in the strange and impassioned journals of Mary Todd Lincoln — shows him unexpected truths about America and loss.


“Andrew Holleran’s novel Grief could be to fiction what Joan Didion’s best-selling 2005 memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, was to non-fiction: A hit about how we consciously and unconsciously cope with the death and absence of someone we love. . . . Grief, like Magical Thinking, is tempting to read in one sitting. Instead, it should be savored, because its emotional theme and elegiac tone are mesmerizing.” —USA Today

Grief is a short novel, but like a single note struck on a perfect silver bell, it carries far.” —Salon

“This slender volume conjures up a rich and deeply seductive, satisfying world, one that welcomes readers gay, straight, single, coupled or otherwise. . . . Holleran’s moving novel is mostly about human resilience and hope; our enduring need to love, despite our losses. The beautiful life is brief: all the more reason to embrace it.” —Washington Post Book World, July 2, 2006

“Mr. Holleran’s intellectual and esthetic poise make this an extraordinarily fine work of fiction–one that will live long in the mind because it provides so much to ponder. Paradoxically, its sad insights invigorate because they have the unmistakable ring of truth.” —Washington Times

Grief is likely to be seen as [Holleran’s] most socially and politically significant work yet. . . . [It has] the kind of heart-stopping composition found in his 1988 Ground Zero as well as in James Joyce’s short story masterpiece The Dead. . . . . Grief is an important, beautiful book. It will repay your investment.” —Los Angeles Times

“This little book feels like a far-reaching masterpiece.” —Seattle Times

“In a novella that’s not just post-AIDS but virtually post-sex, Holleran exquisitely captures the many nuances of loss. A-” —Entertainment Weekly, EW Pick

“In Holleran’s hands, the most bureaucratic city in America takes on the melancholic shading of Thomas Mann’s Venice.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A pensive, creative, and haunting novel that speaks expressly to the heart without sentimentality. . . . Holleran’s ‘message’–that grief is never avoidable for any of us–is so sensitively rendered that it never impedes the swift development of the story line.” —Booklist, starred review

“A haunting, exquisite novel about the nature of loss, grief and the illusion of intimacy.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Holleran makes his coiled reticence speak volumes on attachment, aging, sex and love in small scenes as compelling as they are heartbreaking.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Elegant . . . Holleran’s eloquence lures readers into the rich current of his thoughts . . . Concise and beautiful . . . Holleran has gained a perspective more expansive than ever before.” —New York Times Book Review

“Devastating . . . In Holleran’s hands, the most bureaucratic city in America takes on the melancholic shading of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

You Might Also Like...

Sign Up!

If you would like to learn more, please enter your e-mail below to receive news alerts, event info or other promotions.

Buy the Book

A Novel