Leavitt, David 1961-
Leavitt, David 1961-
Born June 23, 1961, in Pittsburgh, PA; son of Harold Jack (a professor) and Gloria (a homemaker) Leavitt. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1983.
Office—Department of English, University of Florida, 4008 Turlington Hall, P.O. Box 117310, Gainesville, FL 32611-7310. E-mail—[email protected]
PEN, Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Phi Beta Kappa.
Willets Prize for fiction, Yale University, 1982, for "Territory"; O. Henry Award, 1984, for "Counting Months"; nomination for best fiction, National Book Critics Circle, 1984, and PEN/Faulkner Award for best fiction, PEN, 1985, both for Family Dancing; National Endowment for the Arts grant, 1985; Visiting Foreign Writer, Institute of Catalan Letters, Barcelona, Spain, 1989; Guggenheim fellow, 1990; Literary Lion, New York Public Library.
Family Dancing (short stories), Knopf (New York, NY), 1984.
The Lost Language of Cranes (novel), Knopf (New York, NY), 1986, reprinted, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2005.
Equal Affections (novel), Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1989.
A Place I've Never Been (short stories), Viking (New York, NY), 1990.
While England Sleeps (novel), Viking (New York, NY), 1993, reprinted with a new preface by the author, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.
(Editor, with Mark Mitchell) Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, Viking (New York, NY), 1994.
(With Mark Mitchell) Italian Pleasures, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
Arkansas: Three Novellas (includes "The Term Paper Artist," "The Wooden Anniversary," and "Saturn Street"), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.
(Editor and author of introduction, with Mark Mitchell) Pages Passed from Hand to Hand: The Hidden Tradition of Homosexual Literature in English from 1748 to 1914, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.
The Page Turner (novel), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1998.
Martin Bauman; or, A Sure Thing (novel), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2000.
(Editor and author of introduction, with Mark Mitchell) E.M. Forster, Selected Stories, Penguin (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Mark Mitchell) In Maremma: Life and a House in Southern Tuscany, Counterpoint (Washington, DC), 2001.
The Marble Quilt (stories), Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2001.
Florence, a Delicate Case, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2002.
Collected Stories, Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2003.
The Body of Jonah Boyd (novel), Bloomsbury (New York, NY), 2004.
The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer (biography), W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2006.
The Indian Clerk: A Novel, Bloomsbury USA (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor to books, including The M Word: Writers on Same-Sex Marriage, edited by Kathy Pories, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), 2004. Contributor to periodicals, including Esquire, Harper's, New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, New York Times Magazine, and Village Voice.
The Lost Language of Cranes was adapted for film by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 1991. The Page Turner was adapted for film by Spanish director Ventura Pons, as Food of Love, 2002.
Lauded for his insightful and empathetic characterizations, author David Leavitt has gained recognition as one of the leaders of the gay literature movement in the United States. According to a Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor, "While Leavitt has converted the experiences of gay men and women into a matter of interest for the mainstream reader, he remains one of the most poignant and subjective tellers of what it means to be gay and how a gay person survives in a world of family, education, or business not necessarily receptive to sexual difference." Leavitt published his first story, "Territory," in the New Yorker at the age of twenty-one. The story of a mother and her homosexual son, it was the first of its kind to be published in that magazine, and it created "a small stir in the city's more conservative circles," according to an Interview writer. Leavitt also published pieces in other periodicals, including Esquire and Harper's, and in 1984 published his first book, a collection of short stories titled Family Dancing.
Family Dancing showcases Leavitt's insights into some of the more offbeat, troubling aspects of domestic life. Among the stories noted by critics are "Radiation," about a slowly dying cancer victim, "Out Here," which concerns sibling guilt, and "Aliens," in which a young girl believes herself to be an extraterrestrial creature. "Territory" is included in this collection, and several other works in the volume also address homosexual concerns, including "Dedicated" and "Out Here," in which one of the characters is a lesbian.
Family Dancing earned acclaim as an impressive debut volume. Newsweek's David Lehman, hailing the 1980s boom in short-story writing, called Leavitt's book "a first collection of unusual finesse," and Michiko Kakutani wrote in the New York Times that Family Dancing is "an astonishing collection" with "the power to move us with the blush of truth." In a review for the Washington Post, Dennis Drabelle praised Leavitt as "remarkably gifted," and reserved particular commendation for his tales of homosexuality. Leavitt, Drabelle contended, "captures the deep-rooted tensions between adult gays and their families and the efforts of childless gays to carve out families among their peers." Drabelle commented that Leavitt's insights had "only just been tapped."
Leavitt devotes his first novel, The Lost Language of Cranes, to an in-depth depiction of homosexual life. While the main character's romantic experiences are rather typical—he falls in love, loses his lover, and finds a more suitable mate—a subplot involving the protagonist's father delves into traumas specific to homosexuality. The father is a married man who spends Sunday afternoons indulging in his passion for patronizing pornography theaters. After learning that his son is a homosexual, he makes his own difficult confession.
The Lost Language of Cranes chronicles more than just the elements of a homosexual life, however. It also addresses more universal issues regarding love and traces the hope, pain, ecstasy, and suffering that are all a part of romantic involvement. Other issues explored in the novel include the notion of family life, as Leavitt delineates the tensions and disappointments of the family as it is altered by the son's and the father's revelations. In addition, the anguish of the wife and mother is also evoked through her increased withdrawal from familial crises. Her disappointment, together with the father's anguish and the son's alternately exhilarating and crushing experiences with love, adds another dimension to Leavitt's work.
The Lost Language of Cranes garnered much critical acclaim. An enthusiastic reviewer for Chicago's Tribune Books described the novel as "well-written and frankly interesting," and added that "Leavitt's style is compelling, and the subject matter … is equally elucidative." Similarly, Dorothy Allison wrote in the Village Voice that "Leavitt catches beautifully the terror and passion of new love" and shows a profound understanding of love's "tentativeness." She further declared that The Lost Language of Cranes "places David Leavitt firmly among the best young authors of his generation," and concluded that his novel gave her "new hope for modern fiction."
Critics of The Lost Language of Cranes were especially impressed with Leavitt's skill in portraying compelling characters and his ability to evoke the tension and turmoil, as well as the fulfillment and ecstasy, of love. The reviewer for Tribune Books declared that Leavitt "opens up the gay world to readers" and added that the narrative is "mature, quick-paced and fascinating." Likewise, Allison wrote that the novel's various characters are "so fully realized" that she found herself "tense with fear for each of them." Allison commended Leavitt for his artistry in evincing such a response from readers. "It is David Leavitt's strength that he could inspire that kind of fear in me and win me back when his characters did not find true love or happiness," Allison noted. "At every moment I believed in them, and these days that is so rare as to suggest genius."
Leavitt's second novel, Equal Affections, which Listener reviewer John Lahr called a "tale of the extraordinariness of ordinary family suffering," centers on Louise Cooper, who is dying of cancer, and the members of her family who must deal with this reality. Louise's husband, Nat, is a computer visionary whose visions have never amounted to much. Her son Danny is a gay lawyer living in bland, immaculate monogamy in the suburbs with Walter, who has not fully committed to the relationship. Daughter April is a famous folk singer who "discovers" her true lesbian nature and turns her singing to feminist issues. Louise's bitterness over lost opportunities, her crisis of faith, and her impending death color her interactions with her husband and family. As Louise's twenty-year bout with cancer draws to a close, the family deals with this strain as well as their individual problems: Nat is having an affair with another woman, Danny endures Walter's Internet philandering, and April is artificially inseminated with donor sperm from a culturally aware San Francisco homosexual.
Equal Affections received mixed reviews. Acknowledging her disappointment in Leavitt's first novel, The Lost Language of Cranes, Beverly Lowry wrote in the New York Times Book Review that, in contrast, Equal Affections "does not compromise itself with easy answers. It is a gritty, passionate novel that should settle the question of David Leavitt's abilities." Lowry went on to write in the same review: "He has the talent for a lifelong career." Lahr called the novel "adroit," while a New York writer found it to be "limp, dreary business."
In Leavitt's second collection of short stories, A Place I've Never Been, most of his tales focus on gay characters dealing with relationships. "When You Grow to Adultery" finds the protagonist leaving an old lover for a new one, and in "My Marriage to Vengeance," a lesbian character's former lover marries a man. In the title story, a woman finally realizes that her gay friend Nathan is too wrapped up in his own self-pity to contribute to their friendship. A mother tests the limits of her AIDS-stricken son's waning strength in "Gravity," and a heterosexual couple who have lost their respective spouses to cancer begin an affair in "Spouse Night."
Many critics praised A Place I've Never Been. James N. Baker declared in Newsweek that Leavitt "is not an oracle nor is he a groundbreaker" but added: "He remains what he has always been: a writer of conventional stories who casts an incisive, ironic eye on families and lovers, loyalty and betrayal." Reviewer Harriet Waugh wrote in the Spectator: "Short stories, unlike novels, have to be perfect. A Place I've Never Been … very nearly is." In her New York Times Book Review piece on the work, Wendy Martin called A Place I've Never Been a "fine new collection of short fiction," and Clifford Chase described Leavitt's short fiction as "at once wrenching and satisfying" in his review for the Village Voice Literary Supplement.
Leavitt's third novel, While England Sleeps, is set in the 1930s against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and follows the love story between Brian Botsford, a literary aristocrat, and Edward Phelan, a lower-class ticket-taker on the London underground. Brian ends the affair and, in an attempt to deny his homosexuality, marries a woman whom his wealthy aunt thinks is suitable. Distraught, Edward joins the fight in Spain, but he soon deserts the military and lands in prison. Brian follows his lover to Spain and secures Edward's release, but Edward dies of typhoid on the voyage home.
While England Sleeps borrows a segment of its plot from British poet Stephen Spender's 1948 autobiography, World within World, a fact first revealed in the Washington Post. Leavitt admitted using an episode from Spender's life as a springboard for his novel and defended his book on the basis that it is a historical novel. Spender brought suit in London against Leavitt for copyright infringement. Viking agreed to withdraw the book until Leavitt revised the manuscript according to some seventeen points cited in the Spender suit; once this had been done, however, Viking declined to publish the revised version. In the fall of 1995, Houghton Mifflin released the new version with an added preface by Leavitt that addresses the book's legal controversy.
Despite the controversy, the Los Angeles Times shortlisted While England Sleeps for its fiction prize after it had been withdrawn from its initial publication, and While England Sleeps continued to receive much publicity from reviewers. In a New York Times review, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt lauded Leavitt's authentic portrayal of the prewar European era and his depiction of the region's divergent social classes. In the scenes that take place in Spain, Lehmann-Haupt added that "the theme of sexual deception is chillingly replicated in the way the Communist leaders treat their followers." Lehmann-Haupt also noted that While England Sleeps should be credited for climbing "out of its preoccupation with sex and [making] a significant comment on the political issues of its time." Conversely, Jeremy Treglown noted in the Times Literary Supplement that "style is one thing about which Spender hasn't complained, yet the book's main offence lies in its novelettishness."
In his next foray into short fiction, Arkansas: Three Novellas, Leavitt once again explores issues of gay love and life, this time mixing directly autobiographical elements into the work. In "The Term Paper Artist," a young writer—named David Leavitt—tries to break through a case of writer's block caused by an accusation of plagiarism by an English poet. The volume's other two novellas, "The Wooden Anniversary" and "Saturn Street," both deal with characters whose lovers have died and who are struggling with moving on with their lives. "The Wooden Anniversary" is set in Italy, where Leavitt himself was living.
Although Arkansas received some favorable critical reception, New York Times contributor Michiko Kakutani termed the work "disappointing," criticizing the author's handling of sexual events as "repetitious, tiresome and sophomoric" and noting that "this sort of adolescent writing is unworthy of the richly talented Mr. Leavitt."
The Marble Quilt, published in 2001, reestablished Leavitt's critical standing as an author of short fiction, even as he experimented with "different formats and styles," according to Booklist contributor Michael Spinella. "The Infection Scene" balances a story about the petulant Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas, young lover to nineteenth-century writer Oscar Wilde and eventually Wilde's downfall, with a modern-day tragedy about AIDS; "The Black Box" finds two men drawn together as one mourns the recent loss of a lover in a tragic plane crash; and "The List" follows the gossip-ridden e-mail dialogue among a group of gay academics. The title story, about a murdered man whose life, as narrated by his former boyfriend during a police inquiry, is shown to be rife with contradictions, "is infused with an anger that exists … just below its dense writerliness," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor, adding that in The Marble Quilt Leavitt "achieves an electric narrative energy."
Leavitt's 1998 novel, The Page Turner, deals with the dual themes of love and ambition. Aspiring concert pianist Paul Porterfield, the book's narrator, is given the chance to turn pages for renowned artist Richard Kennington during a concert in California. The two men meet a few months later in Italy and begin a brief affair that is halted by Kennington's loyalty to a longtime partner and by Paul's realization that his talent does not equal Kennington's. The book also explores Paul's milieu in New York City and his mother's struggle to come to terms with the dissolution of her marriage. In her New York Times review of the book, Kakutani maintained that the novel "represents something of a rediscovery of the methods and ambitions of Family Dancing. It is by no means a perfect novel … but … it intermittently shimmers with the magical talent that first announced itself a decade and a half ago." Elizabeth Gleick also praised The Page Turner in the New York Times Book Review as "a perfectly enjoyable read" and "a portrait of the aspiring artist as a young man." Gleick continued: "Love and striving for self-hood may be inseparable, but in this novel the author achieves clarity, even flashes of poetry, only when grappling with the turning points in an artistic life."
The "artistic life" also informs Martin Bauman; or, A Sure Thing, Leavitt's roman à clef about the New York publishing world. The central character of this novel, Martin Bauman, is a youthful prodigy who publishes a groundbreaking short story with gay themes in an important literary magazine—and who thereafter has to struggle with his disillusion at the venality of the publishing business and with the dire predictions of his demanding college instructor, Stanley Flint. Martin Bauman "gives every appearance of being an extended, merciless excoriation of Leavitt's younger self—depicted here as a boy with a propensity for cheating on exams, a coddled yet chronically needy child-man not above betraying the people he loves when they prove insufficiently forthcoming with their reassurance," wrote Laura Miller in the New York Times Book Review. Miller added: "The pettiness of writers is so disheartening because, at its best, the experience of reading is so sublime; naturally, we expect better of the people who can engineer such a miracle. That Leavitt depicts his own generation of ‘hot’ young writers as not just preoccupied with reputation but also apparently indifferent to the alchemy of reading itself may be the most damning thing of all." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that the New York literary scene "is given a sound drubbing in this comedy of egos and coming-of-age tale." The reviewer went on to write: "Readers hip to the New York book biz will be tickled throughout by Leavitt's thinly veiled satiric references to various literary institutions." Kakutani, writing in the New York Times, found the book to be "as poignant and funny an account of literary apprenticeship as that found in the opening pages of William Styron's Sophie's Choice."
In The Body of Jonah Boyd Judith "Denny" Denham reflects on a significant Thanksgiving dinner, thirty years before, at the house of her then employer/lover and his family. Sometime throughout the evening one of the members of the party, novelist Jonah Boyd, irretrievably misplaces his most recent manuscript, setting him off on a path of despair. "Leavitt drops you into this family, allows you to muck around in its glorious dysfunction, and then extracts you in an ingenious way," explained Henry Goldblatt in a review for Entertainment Weekly. Marc Kloszewski in Library Journal commented that The Body of Jonah Boyd is a "generally breezy and humorous book whose charms outweigh any flaws; many readers will enjoy it," while Ray Olson, writing in Booklist, acknowledged: "Followers of Leavitt's career may note that his nemesis, plagiarism, figures in here, while homosexuality, formerly prevalent in his fiction, does not, and conclude that this is his best novel."
In addition to his own writing, Leavitt has edited several well-received works with his companion, Mark Mitchell. The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, for instance, consists of pieces that focus on gay men and includes a wide variety of writers, both contemporary and historical, among them Larry Kramer, D.H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, Christopher Isherwood, Edna O'Brien, and James Purdy. Writing in the New Statesman & Society, Richard Canning bemoaned the omission of non-American and non-English writers as well as pre-1900 writers, questioning the inclusion of pieces that seem at odds with the authors' stated criteria. "Leavitt's preference for ‘self-contained, autonomous works’ rather than novel extracts is shelved for particular favourites." Nonetheless, Canning recommended the anthology as "no less comprehensive than any work subject to such criteria could be." Peter Parker in the Observer similarly questioned the scope of the pieces included, noting that the volume reflects Leavitt's own writing terrain—conservative, mainstream, "suburban-sensitive"—at the expense of angrier or more explicitly sexual literature. However, Parker, while admitting some reservations about inclusion criteria in his Times Literary Supplement review, commended Leavitt and Mitchell for choosing "so many stories of such high literary quality."
Leavitt and Mitchell also edited Pages Passed from Hand to Hand: The Hidden Tradition of Homosexual Literature in English from 1748 to 1914. The anthology includes excerpts from novels, stories, and obscure manuscripts that depict gay passion, sometimes in veiled form due to cultural taboos and censorship. According to Robert Dawidoff in the Advocate, the pieces, though of other eras and in some cases previously unknown to readers, "are often hauntingly familiar, partly because they have been incorporated into the gay literature we know but also because they concern the same uncomfortable and confused feelings gays experience even now." Dawidoff also noted that the book "belongs in every gay library"and added: "It is like a time capsule, carefully secreted in the cornerstone of our gay foundation and now restored to us as a reminder and a treasure."
Leavitt's 2003 Collected Stories includes stories from three earlier collections: Family Dancing, A Place I've Never Been, and The Marble Quilt. The stories focus primarily on family and gay themes. Writing in the Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, Jim Nawrocki noted that the author "proves himself a master at putting the reader inside the heads of his characters."
In The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer, Leavitt tells the real-life story of Alan Turing, an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer who committed suicide in 1954 after being arrested and tried for committing homosexual acts. Turing is especially known for his code-breaking work during World War II, including his contributions to the creation of the Enigma machine for breaking German ciphers and his role as the father of modern computer science. Leavitt's biography, called "a simple book about a complex man … that is accessible to any reader" by a Kirkus Reviews contributor, explores Turing's often difficult life, including his scientific accomplishments and his rather open homosexuality during a time and in a society that totally rejected homosexuality. Leavitt also depicts Turing's trial in 1952. Turing, who had just been elected to the Royal Society, was arrested for committing acts of gross indecency. The brilliant mathematician committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide. The act imitates a favorite scene from Turing's favorite movie, the Walt Disney classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in which the wicked witch gives Snow White a poisoned apple. As the author explores Turing's slide into what many perceived as madness, Leavitt also leads the reader to look closely at Turing's persecution for being a homosexual, which included forced injections of estrogen as a form of chemical castration and humiliatingly resulted in Turing having enlarged breasts. Andrew Stuttaford, writing in the National Review, noted that Leavitt "succeeds in drawing a wonderfully vivid picture of his shy, dry, brilliant hero." Booklist contributor Gilbert Taylor noted that Turing's "tragedy and his intellectual significance … come clear in Leavitt's hands."
Leavitt's 2007 novel, The Indian Clerk: A Novel, was called a "richly imagined … novel" by Nell Freudenberger in the New York Times Book Review. The novel is based on real people and events, namely the noted British mathematician G.H. Hardy and a young bank clerk in Madras, India, named Srinvasa Ramanujan. In 1913, Ramanujan wrote Hardy in Cambridge. Upon reading the letter, Harding believed that Ramanujan may have been a math genius who was on the verge of proving the "Riemann Hypothesis," a complex and paradoxical hypothesis concerning prime numbers and one that remains unproven. Hardy eventually brought Ramanujan to England, where he lived for five years during World War I because he was unable to return to India.
In his novel, Leavitt focuses on the relationship between the renowned mathematician and his prodigy. The author also integrates a second story narrated by the closeted homosexual Hardy via a series of real and imagined 1936 lectures. "Leavitt's use of metaphors is very clever. He describes Gertrude, Hardy's sister, for example, as ‘a woman as thin as an exclamation point and just as emphatic,’" wrote Poornima Aptes for Mostly Fiction. "Toward the end, Leavitt details the various burdens on the young Ramanujan through the vivid imagery of fishhooks. Leavitt also does an absolutely brilliant job of portraying Hardy—the brilliant mathematician who is so out of touch with the real world."
Other reviewers also had high praise for the novel. Several noted the author's ability to delineate the demarcations concerning different classes as revealed in his portrait of the two men from very different worlds and backgrounds. For example, Freudenberger wrote in the New York Times Book Review: "Leavitt has been praised and condemned for the explicit sex in his fiction, but it is his candid exploration of class that sets him apart from most American writers. In particular, he's interested in the betrayal of the lower classes by those richer and more powerful." Still other reviewers echoed Aptes's appraisal of the author's use of metaphors. A contributor to the New Yorker noted how the author uses metaphors about the paradoxes inherent in mathematics to demonstrate"how the most meaningful relationships can defy both logic and imagination."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 34, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1985.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 130: American Short Story Writers since World War II, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.
Advocate, October 19, 1993, review of While England Sleeps, pp. 51-55; December 28, 1993, review of Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, p. 76; February 17, 1998, Robert Dawidoff, review of Pages Passed from Hand to Hand: The Hidden Tradition of Homosexual Literature in English from 1748 to 1914, p. 53; March 31, 1998, Robert L. Pela, review of The Page Turner, p. 74.
American Scientist, July-August, 2006, Martin Davis, "Ahead of His Time," review of The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer, p. 366.
Biography, winter, 2007, review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 159.
Booklist, February 15, 1998, Ray Olson, review of The Page Turner, p. 982; August, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of Martin Bauman; or, A Sure Thing, p. 2074; September 2, 2001, Michael Spinella, review of The Marble Quilt, p. 51; April 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of The Body of Jonah Boyd, p. 1348; October 15, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 14; August, 2007, Brad Hooper, review of The Indian Clerk: A Novel, p. 35.
Bookseller, March 17, 2006, "Computer Bigsellers," p. 32.
Contemporary Review, summer, 2007, "Computing the Enigma of Alan Turing," review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 246.
Economist, July 8, 2006, "A Man Who Counted; Alan Turing," review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 79.
Entertainment Weekly, April 30, 2004, Henry Goldblatt, review of The Body of Jonah Boyd, p. 171.
Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, May-June, 2004, Jim Nawrocki, review of Collected Stories, p. 39.
Harper's, April, 1986, review of Family Dancing, p. 64.
Interview, March, 1985, John Duka, "David Leavitt," p. 84.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1998, review of The Page Turner; September 1, 2005, review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 959; July 15, 2007, review of The Indian Clerk.
Library Journal, June 1, 1995; February 1, 1998, David Azzolina, review of Pages Passed from Hand to Hand, p. 86; February 15, 1998, Roger W. Durbin, review of The Page Turner, p. 170; September 1, 2000, Brian Kenney, review of Martin Bauman, p. 250; July, 2001, review of The Marble Quilt, p. 128; May 1, 2004, Marc Kloszewski, review of The Body of Jonah Boyd, p. 140; November 15, 2005, James A. Buczynski, review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 92; April 1, 2007, Leslie Patterson, review of The Indian Clerk, p. 82.
Listener, June 15, 1989, John Lahr, review of Equal Affections, p. 25.
London Review of Books, May 23, 1991, review of A Place I've Never Been, pp. 22-23.
National Review, December 27, 1993, Tracy Lee Simmons, review of While England Sleeps, p. 72; January 30, 2006, Andrew Stuttaford, "Quiet Hero," review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 55.
New Republic, April 6, 1998, Denis Donoghue, review of Pages Passed from Hand to Hand, p. 36.
New Statesman & Society, November 12, 1993, review of While England Sleeps, p. 38; March 11, 1994, Richard Canning, review of Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, p. 41.
Newsweek, January 14, 1985, David Lehman, review of Family Dancing, p. 70; February 13, 1989, review of Equal Affections, p. 78; September 3, 1990, James N. Baker, review of A Place I've Never Been, p. 66; November 8, 1993, David Gates, "Not with My Life, You Don't. (Poet Stephen Spender Sues Novelist David Leaveitt for Plagiarism)," p. 81.
New York, January 30, 1989, review of Equal Affections, p. 57; October 18, 1993, review of While England Sleeps, pp. 139-140.
New Yorker, February 6, 2006, Jim Holt, "Code Breaker," review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 84; September 24, 2007, review of The Indian Clerk, p. 185.
New York Times, October 30, 1984, Michiko Kakutani, review of Family Dancing, p. 25; October 14, 1993, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of While England Sleeps, p. B2; February 20, 1994, James Atlas, review of While England Sleeps, p. D14; February 25, 1997, Celestine Bohlen, "Writer on the Rebound," p. B1; March 11, 1997, Michiko Kakutani, review of Arkansas: Three Novellas, p. B2; March 27, 1998, Michiko Kakutani, "Ambition, Manipulation and a Misguided Mother," review of The Page Turner, p. B43; September 29, 2000, Michiko Kakutani, "The Writing Life: Never Unexamined, Often Nasty." p. B. 38.
New York Times Book Review, September 2, 1984, review of Family Dancing, p. 7; October 5, 1986; February 13, 1989, Beverly Lowry, review of Equal Affections, p. 78; August 26, 1990, Wendy Martin, review of A Place I've Never Been, p. 11; October 3, 1993, review of While England Sleeps, p. 14; September 4, 1994, "My Life Is Mine: It's Not David Leavitt's (Stephen Spender's Autobiography)," p. 10; April 26, 1998, Elizabeth Gleick, "On the Other Side of Arrival," review of The Page Turner, p. 12; October 8, 2000, Laura Miller, "Who's Who? Thinly Fictionalized Literary Figures Populate David Leavitt's New Novel," p. 9; September 22, 2002, Wilborn Hampton, review of Florence, a Delicate Case, p. 25; September 16, 2007, Nell Freudenberger, "Lust for Numbers," review of The Indian Clerk, p. 1.
Observer (London, England), February 6, 1994, Peter Parker, review of Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, p. 21.
Publishers Weekly, August 24, 1990, Sam Staggs "David Leavitt: The Writer of Short Stories and Novels talks about the Pitfalls of Having Achieved Early Success," pp. 47-48; February 21, 1994, "Leavitt Novel Withdrawn after Spender Suit," p. 10; February 2, 1998, review of The Page Turner, p. 79; August 7, 2000, review of Martin Bauman, p. 74; July 30, 2001, review of The Marble Quilt, p. 56; September 26, 2005, review of The Man Who Knew Too Much, p. 77; May 28, 2007, review of The Indian Clerk, p. 33.
Spectator, March 9, 1991, Harriet Waugh, review of A Place I've Never Been, p. 28; July 15, 2006, Alexander Masters, "Castrated by a Grateful Nation," review of The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Time, November 8, 1993, "The Arts & Media. (Anecdotes on Poet Stephen Spender's Plagiarism Lawsuit against Novelist David Leavitt and Wildenstein & Co.'s Investment in Pace Gallery)," p. 27.
Times Literary Supplement, October 29, 1993, Jeremy Treglown, review of While England Sleeps, p. 20; February 4, 1994, review of Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, p. 20.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), September 21, 1986, review of The Lost Language of Cranes, p. 7.
Village Voice, October 14, 1986, Dorothy Allison, review of The Lost Language of Cranes.
Village Voice Literary Supplement, December, 1990, Clifford Chase, review of A Place I've Never Been, pp. 10-11.
Washington Post, November 19, 1984, Dennis Drabelle, review of Family Dancing, p. C2; March 2, 1985, Michael Dirda, "PEN-Faulkner Choices; Five Works Nominated for Fiction Award," p. G2; February 17, 1994, David Streitfeld, "Publisher Drops Novel over Pilifered Plot; Suit by Poet Stephen Spender Claimed Author Used His Life Story," p. A1.
Elegant Variation,http://marksarvas.blogs.com/elegvar/ (August 21, 2007), "The Indian Clerk Week Continues: An Interview with David Leavitt."
Jabberwock,http://jaiarjun.blogspot.com/ (October 23, 2007), Jai Arjun Singh, review of The Indian Clerk.
LA Weekly,http://www.laweekly.com/ (October 10, 2007), Margaret Wertheim, "A Mathematician's Apology," review of The Indian Clerk.
Mostly Fiction,http://www.mostlyfiction.com/ (October 2, 2007), Poornima Aptes, review of The Indian Clerk.
PureFiction.com,http://www.purefiction.com/ (December 12, 2000), interview with Leavitt.
University of Florida English Department Web site,http://www.english.ufl.edu/ (February 12, 2008), faculty profile of author.