In the Gloaming by Alice Elliott Dark

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The gloaming is the hour when dawn or dusk works its spell, making all the world as purple as the Scottish highlands on a summer night. In Alice Elliott Dark's heart-catching title story, a loving mother shares this favorite time of day with her dying son, all the while realizing that for him it is already dark. "In the Gloaming" is populated by characters yearning for twilight moments, existing as they do in indeterminate emotional states not easily defined. Their hearts twist, making our own rush toward them. In "The Secret Spot," Helen dodges the knife of confession during a chance encounter with an old rival. In "Maniacs," two sisters unexpectedly see a man they have both loved. In "Dreadful Language," Frannie follows in her mother's footsteps by marrying for security rather than love. In austerely beautiful prose, Dark lays bare the emotional core of her subjects with almost surgical precision. As they go about the business of living -- caring for ailing family members, spending a lonely, sleepless night in a hotel far from home, or reminiscing in an airport coffee shop -- they reveal the ache of adoration and devotion that so poignantly marks our inner lives.

About Alice Elliott Dark

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Alice Elliott Dark is the author of In the Gloaming and Naked to the Waist. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Prize Stories: O. Henry, The Best American Short Stories, and The Best American Short Stories of the Century.
Published January 7, 2000 by Simon & Schuster. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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In “The Tower,” an amusing parody of Henry James’s tales of renunciation, a fortyish bachelor encounters at home and abroad an enticing young woman with whom he finds he must settle for a platonic friendship.

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Publishers Weekly

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The title story of Dark's second collection was a major 1994 hit, published in Best American Short Stories of the Century and made into a critically acclaimed HBO film starring Glenn Close, directed by Christopher Reeve.

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Entertainment Weekly

''The gloaming'' is a Scottish term for the time of day when twilight changes to night, and each of these 10 elegant love stories captures such a dark, transformative moment.

Feb 02 2000 | Read Full Review of In the Gloaming


Scripted by Will Scheffer from a 1993 New Yorker short story by Alice Elliott Dark, "In the Gloaming" tells the tale of a young gay man, Danny (marvelous work from Robert Sean Leonard), who is stricken with AIDS and comes home to live out his last days.

Apr 26 1997 | Read Full Review of In the Gloaming

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