In these fourteen essays Andre Aciman, one of the most poignant stylists of his generation, dissects the experience of loss, moving from his forced departure from Alexandria as a teenager, though his brief stay in Europe and finally to the home he's made (and half invented) on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
A powerful tale of love, friendship, and becoming American in late ’70s Cambridge from the best-selling novelist.
"If you like brave, acute, elated, naked, brutal, tender, humane, and beautiful prose, then you’ve come to the right place.”—Nicole Krauss
Cambridge, 1977: A Harvard graduate student, a Jew from Egypt, is preparing to become the assimilated American professor he longs to be. But when he bonds with a brash, charismatic Arab cab driver nicknamed Kalashnikov, he begins to neglect his studies. Together they carouse the bars and cafés of Cambridge, seduce strangers, ridicule “jumbo-ersatz” America, and skinny-dip in Walden Pond. As final exams approach and the cab driver is threatened with deportation, the grad student faces the decision of his life: whether to cling to his dream of New World assimilation or ditch it all to defend his Old World friend.
Sexually charged and enormously moving, this is a deeply American novel of identity and ideals in conflict. It is the book that will seal André Aciman’s reputation as one of the finest writers of our time.
Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks' duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.
The psychological maneuvers that accompany attraction have seldom been more shrewdly captured than in André Aciman's frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion. Call Me by Your Name is clear-eyed, bare-knuckled, and ultimately unforgettable.
A passionate portrait of love’s contradictory power, in five illuminating stories.
Andre Aciman, who has been called “the most exciting new fiction writer of the twenty-first century” (New York Magazine), has written a novel in Enigma Variations that charts the life of Paul whose loves remain as consuming and covetous throughout adulthood as they were in adolescence. Whether in southern Italy, where as a boy he has a crush on his parents’ cabinet maker, or on a snowbound campus in New England, where his enduring passion for a girl he’ll meet again and again over the years is punctuated by anonymous encounters with men; on a tennis court in Central Park, or a sidewalk in early spring New York, his attachments are ungraspable, transient and forever underwritten by raw desire—not for just one person’s body but, inevitably, for someone else’s as well.
In mapping the most inscrutable corners of desire, Aciman proves to be an unsparing reader of the human psyche and a master stylist of contemporary literature. With language at once lyrical, bare-knuckled, and unabashedly candid, he casts a sensuous, shimmering light over each facet of desire to probe how we ache, want, and waver, and ultimately how we sometimes falter and let go of those who may want only to offer what we crave from them. Behind every step the hero takes, his hopes, denials, fears, and regrets are always ready to lay their traps. Yet the dream of love always casts its luminous halo. We may not always know what we want. We may remain enigmas to ourselves and others. But sooner or later we discover who we’ve always known we were.
This richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family, from its bold arrival in cosmopolitan Alexandria to its defeated exodus three generations later. In elegant and witty prose, André Aciman introduces us to the marvelous eccentrics who shaped his life--Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, soldier, salesman, and spy; the two grandmothers, the Princess and the Saint, who gossip in six languages; Aunt Flora, the German refugee who warns that Jews lose everything "at least twice in their lives." And through it all, we come to know a boy who, even as he longs for a wider world, does not want to be led, forever, out of Egypt.