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In the Gloaming

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Alice Elliott Dark, In The Gloaming

”The gloaming” is a Scottish term for the time of day when twilight changes to night, and each of these 10 elegant love stories captures such a dark, transformative moment. In In the Gloaming, the delicate yet wrenching title piece (already filmed twice and included in ”The Best American Short Stories of the Century”), a mother bonds with her 33-year-old son for the first time — feeling ”like a girl with a crush” as he lies in bed dying of AIDS.

While melodrama mars some tales, Dark’s more typical fare — searing stories of faithless husbands, rivalrous sisters, and a classic about a middle-aged rogue who learns that his much younger girlfriend might be his daughter — showcases her exquisite use of irony.