Megan Harlan
March 15, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dancing After Hours

Current Status
In Season
Andre Dubus
Fiction, Short Stories

We gave it an A-

Alongside ordinary, middle-class suburbanites, angels and devils populate these 14 eloquent short stories that explore love’s survival — and flowering — in the face of human weakness. A woman, left by her husband, learns how to find a different kind of happiness with her daughters, her friends, and eventually her lovers; a retired Marine colonel reacquaints himself with his beloved but long-neglected wife after his legs are painfully crippled. What might surprise readers is how deeply these thoroughly modern characters struggle with biblical-style moral questions about adultery and sexual promiscuity — yet less for religious reasons than to keep their ability to love alive. Thanks to Andre Dubus’ clear, quiet prose, the spiritual undercurrent in Dancing After Hours comes to the surface with intimate power and resonance. A-

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