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David Margolick: Dreadful

David Margolick: Dreadful

The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns. USA, 2013, 382 pp, hardbound,  28.95
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American author John Horne Burns led a brief and controversial life, and as a writer, transformed many of his darkest experiences into literature. Burns was born in Massachusetts, graduated from Andover and Harvard, and went on to teach English at the Loomis School, a boarding school for boys in Windsor, Connecticut. During World War II, he was stationed in Africa and Italy, and worked mainly in military intelligence. His first novel, »The Gallery«, which sold half a million copies upon publication, is a critically acclaimed novel and one of the first to unflinchingly depict gay life in the military. »Dreadful« follows Burns, from his education at the best schools to his final years of drinking and depression in Italy. David Margolick examines Burns's moral ambivalence toward the behavior of American soldiers, and the scandal surrounding his second novel, »Lucifer with a Book«, an unflattering portrayal of his experiences at Loomis.
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