Andrew Holleran

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Andrew Holleran
Holleran, 2007
Holleran, 2007
BornEric Garber
1943 (age 78–79)
OccupationNovelist, essayist
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania
Alma materHarvard University
Notable worksDancer from the Dance
The Beauty of Men
Notable awardsBill Whitehead Award
Stonewall Book Award

Andrew Holleran is the pseudonym of Eric Garber (born 1943),[1] an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer, born and partly raised in Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean. He is a prominent novelist of post-Stonewall gay literature. He was a member of The Violet Quill, a gay writer's group that met briefly from 1980-81. The Violet Quill included other prolific gay writers like Edmund White and Felice Picano. Garber, who has historically been very protective of his privacy, uses "Andrew Holleran" as his pseudonym.

Early life[edit]

Holleran, born in Aruba in 1943 as Eric Garber,[2] spent much of his childhood there before attending Harvard College,[3] where he graduated in 1965.[4]

During his senior year at Harvard, he met Peter Taylor, a novelist who taught creative writing.[5] Holleran briefly followed him to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop to avoid "the horror of law school," before going to law school at the University of Pennsylvania. Holleran was drafted in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, and after his first year of law school, went to West Germany.[1] Following his return to the United States after the Army, he attended one additional semester of law school and then moved to New York City.[1]


Following his move to New York City, Holleran spent nearly ten years temping and bar tending before Dancer from the Dance, his first novel, was published in 1978.[2] Its narrative takes place among the discotheques of New York City and Fire Island, although it is Fire Island, with its literal distance from the mainland, that provides a pivotal backdrop for the novel. Dancer shares many of its locales, as well as its themes, with Faggots, Larry Kramer's novel, published in the same year.[6] Dancer from the Dance is regarded as a major contribution to post-Stonewall gay male literature and enjoys a cult status in the gay community.[7]

Holleran's second novel was Nights in Aruba (1983), and his third is titled The Beauty of Men (1996). The Beauty of Men takes place in central Florida where the main character, a 47-year-old gay man, has gone to take care of his quadriplegic mother.

For a number of years Holleran taught creative writing at American University in Washington, DC, and he continues to publish short fiction in gay short story collections like M2M: New Literary Fiction and frequently publishes articles in The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide.[8]

In a review of his work in The New York Times, a critic wrote that Holleran's works "...seem so determined to speak for their disenfranchised gay characters that the works become inaccessible to anyone else, like looking through a window at someone else's world."[6]


He received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle in 2007.[9] He also received the 2007 Stonewall Book Award for Grief.[10]



  1. ^ a b c Goldstein, Bill (3 June 2006). "Writer of Gay Classic Evokes Mrs. Lincoln". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Morton, Paul (March 2007). "Bookslut | An Interview with Andrew Holleran". Archived from the original on 9 June 2018. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Andrew Holleran interviewed by Don Shewey in 1983". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  4. ^ Mahtani, Sahil K. (November 18, 2006). "The Men of Lamont | Come out, come out, wherever you are". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. ^ Holleran, Andrew (November 1, 2012). "My Harvard, Part 2: New York". The Gay & Lesbian Review. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b Kramer, Larry (20 October 2015). "Larry Kramer's Sour Times". PAPER. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  7. ^ Trušník, Roman (2008). Dreams of the Past Gone: Andrew Holleran's Dancer from the Dance Revisited. Palacký University, Olomouc. pp. 87–98. ISBN 978-80-244-2126-1.
  8. ^ Thomas, June (30 August 2013). "Andrew Holleran's New Story in Granta and the Gay Literature We Lost". Slate. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  9. ^ "The 2007 Triangle Awards | White Crane Institute". White Crane Institute. May 8, 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  10. ^ "ALA | Holleran, Bechdel win 2007 Stonewall Book awards". Retrieved 28 March 2018.

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