Gay Times in NYC: Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance (1978)



This chapter focuses on Andrew Holleran’s portrayal of New York’s gay cruising culture of the 1970s in Dancer from the Dance (1978). Hess first explores the novel’s focus on youth and the protagonist’s inability to imagine a queer future. She then engages J. Jack Halberstam’s and José Muñoz’s writings on queer failure to foreground the subversive potential inherent in Dancer with regard to the characters’ failures to adhere to the linear life course. In the last part of the chapter, the author employs Dustin Goltz’s strategy of “looking towards the margins of the cultural screen” to analyze Dancer’s instrumentalization of its own margins as an intervention that invites the reader’s critical reflection on the main narrative’s stereotypical portrayals of gay aging.


  1. Armstrong, Elizabeth A., and Suzanna M. Crage. 2006. Movements and Memory: The Making of the Stonewall Myth. American Sociological Review 71: 724–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold, June. (1975) 1989. Sister Gin. 1975. New York: Feminist.Google Scholar
  3. Baldwin, James. (1956) 2001. Giovanni’s Room. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1962. Another Country. New York: Dial Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bayer, Ronald. 1987. Politics, Science, and Psychiatric Nomenclature. In Scientific Controversies: Case Studies in the Resolution and Closure of Disputes in Science and Technology, ed. H. Tristam Engelhardt Jr. and Arthur L. Caplan, 381–400. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berger, Raymond. 1995. Gay and Gray: The Older Homosexual Man. Binghamton: Haworth.Google Scholar
  7. Bergman, David. 1995. American Literature: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall. In The Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage: A Reader’s Companion to the Writers and Their Works from Antiquity to the Present, ed. Claude J. Summers, 42–47. New York: Henry Holt.Google Scholar
  8. Brookes, Les. 2009. Gay Male Fiction Since Stonewall: Ideology, Conflict, and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Castiglia, Christopher. 2000. Remembering the Gay Seventies. In The Seventies: The Age of Glitter and Pop Culture, ed. Shelton Waldrep, 205–224. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. D’Emilio, John. 1983. Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940–1970. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 1993. Capitalism and Gay Identity. In The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, ed. Henry Abelove, Michèle Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin, 467–476. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Drescher, Jack. 2015. Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality. Behavioral Sciences 5 (4): 565–475. Scholar
  13. Eakin, Paul John. 2008. Living Autobiographically: How We Create Identity in Narrative. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Eaklor, Vicki L. 2008. Queer America: A People’s GLBT History of the United States. New York: New Press.Google Scholar
  15. Featherstone, Mike. 1998. The Flâneur, the City, and Virtual Public Life. Urban Studies 35 (5): 909–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freeman, Elizabeth. 2010. Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goltz, Dustin B. 2010. Queer Temporalities in Gay Male Representation: Tragedy, Normativity, and Futurity. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Gorman, Michael E., and Keith Nelson. 2004. From a Far Place: Considerations About HIV Among Midlife and Older Gay Men. In Gay and Lesbian Aging, ed. Gilbert Herdt and Brian de Vries, 73–96. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  19. Halberstam, J. Jack. 2011. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hess, Linda M. 2018. Mapping the Ephemeral Community in Larry Kramer’s Faggots and Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance. In Space Oddities: Difference and Identities in the American City, ed. Stefan Brandt and Michael Fuchs, 113–126. Münster: Lit.Google Scholar
  21. Holleran, Andrew. 1978. Dancer from the Dance. New York: Morrow.Google Scholar
  22. Isherwood, Christopher. 1964. A Single Man. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.Google Scholar
  23. Jagose, Annamarie. 1997. Queer Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kaiser, Charles. 1997. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. New York: Grove.Google Scholar
  25. Keats, John. 1988. Ode on a Grecian Urn. In John Keats: The Complete Poems, ed. John Barnard, 344–345. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  26. Kramer, Larry. 1978. Faggots. New York: Plume.Google Scholar
  27. Marshall, Leni, and Valerie B. Lipscomb, eds. 2010. Staging Age: The Performance of Age in Theatre, Dance, and Film. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  28. Maupin, Armistead. 1978. Tales of the City. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  29. Meem, Deborah T., Michelle Gibson, and Jonathan F. Alexander. 2010. Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
  30. Muñoz, José Esteban. 2009. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Pearl, Monica B. 2013. AIDS Literature and Gay Identity: The Literature of Loss. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rechy, John. 1963. City of Night. New York: Grove.Google Scholar
  33. Richardson, Diane, and Steven Seidman. 2002. Handbook of Gay and Lesbian Studies. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  34. Roth v. United States. 1957. 354 U.S. 476.Google Scholar
  35. Sandberg, Linn. 2008. The Old, the Ugly, and the Queer: Thinking Old Age in Relation to Queer Theory. Graduate Journal of Social Science 5 (2): 117–139.Google Scholar
  36. Shakespeare, William. (1609) 2008. Sonnet 12. The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Sonnets and Poems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. White, Edmund. 1978. Nocturnes for the King of Naples. New York: St. Martin’s.Google Scholar
  38. Windham, Donald. 1965. Two People. New York: Coward McCann.Google Scholar
  39. Winters, Yvor. 1960. The Poetry of W.B. Yeats. Twentieth Century Literature 6 (1): 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yeats, William Butler. 2008. Among School Children. In The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, 183. London: Wordsworth.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goethe University FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany

Personalised recommendations