Synopses & Reviews
David Leavitt has earned high praise for his empathetic portrayal of human sexuality and the complexities of intimate relationships. Now, with While England Sleeps, available for the first time in two years, Leavitt moves beyond precisely controlled domestic drama to create a historical novel, one that has greater breadth and resonance than anything he has written before. Set against the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe, While England Sleeps tells the story of a love affair between the aristocratic young British writer Brian Botsford, who thinks homosexuality is something he will outgrow, and Edward Phelan, a sensitive and idealistic working-class employee of the London Underground and a Communist party member. When the strains of class difference, sexual taboo, and Brian's ambivalence impel Edward to volunteer to fight against Franco in Spain, Brian pursues him across Europe and into the violent chaos of war.
About the Author
David Leavitt's first collection of stories, Family Dancing, was published when he was just twenty-three and was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Prize. The Lost Language of Cranes was made into a BBC film, and While England Sleeps was short-listed for the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize. With Mark Mitchell, he coedited The Penguin Book of Short Stories, Pages Passed from Hand to Hand, and cowrote Italian Pleasures. Leavitt is a recipient of fellowships from both the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He divides his time between Italy and Florida.