Saturday, June 23, 2018

Happy Birthday to 'Lost Language of Cranes' Author David Leavitt

David Leavitt was born today, June 23, in 1961. He is an American novelist, short story writer, and biographer. Leavitt, who is an out gay man, has frequently explored gay issues in his work.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Leavitt is a graduate of Yale University and a professor at the University of Florida. He has also taught at Princeton University.

His published fiction includes the short-story collections Family Dancing (finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award), A Place I've Never Been, Arkansas and The Marble Quilt, as well as the novels The Lost Language of Cranes, Equal Affections, While England Sleeps (finalist for the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize), The Page Turner, Martin Bauman, The Body of Jonah Boyd and The Indian Clerk (finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Award). 

Two of Leavitt's novels have been made into films: The Lost Language of Cranes (1991) was directed by Nigel Finch and The Page Turner (released under the title Food of Love) was directed by Ventura Pons. The rights to a third, The Indian Clerk, have been optioned by Scott Rudin.

Leavitt also wrote the biography, The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer (2006). Turing was also born today in 1912.

Leavitt's latest book, The Two Hotel Francforts, is a fictive biographical novel published in 2013. It is set in Lisbon in 1940 and follows two couples who meet by chance while they are staying in one to the cities two Hotel Francforts, awaiting safe passage to America during the first summer of World War II.

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