Join us on WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18 at 6:30 as AUTHOR’S NIGHT presents CHRISTOPHER CASTELLANI and his newest novel LEADING MAN. An expansive yet intimate story of desire, artistic ambition, and fidelity, set in the glamorous literary and film circles of 1950s Italy.
Author’s Night is a FREE EVENT. A cash bar is available for our patrons, and copies of Mr. Castellani’s book will be available for purchase courtesy of Dick Haley of Haley Booksellers.
DINNER WITH THE AUTHOR
Stay with us after the talk for DINNER WITH THE AUTHOR. It’s an opportunity to continue the conversation, while enjoying cocktails, appetizers, entrees and/or dessert.
All food and beverages are a la carte, and there are no additional charges. While reservations are not required for the talk, in order to guarantee seating we do suggest reservations for the dinner. Please call Stellina in person at 617-924-9475 to insure prompt confirmation.
“Blazing…casts a spell right from the start. [Leading Men] vividly reimagines the relationship between Williams and Frank Merlo, and offers intricate thoughts about the nature of fidelity, the artistic impulse, and estrangement…”
-The New York Times
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress. Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives.
Ten years later, Frank revisits the tempestuous events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits anxiously for Tennessee to visit him one final time. Anja, now legendary film icon Anja Bloom, lives as a recluse in the present-day U.S. until a young man connected to the events of 1953 lures her reluctantly back into the spotlight after he discovers she possesses the only copy of Williams’s unknown final play—written especially for her.
“Castellani’s quiet portrait of Merlo has a deep, aching appeal…[his] prose has a beguiling lilt and color, whether he’s evoking his characters’ evasive or erratic emotions, or conjuring the far-flung locales where these globe-hoppers touch down. There’s a felicitous uncertainty, too, in the central issue that unseen Williams play raises: Who has final say on the legacy we leave behind? And who has final word on how we’re remembered?”
-The Boston Globe
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christopher Castellani is the son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, Delaware. He currently lives in Boston, where he is the artistic director of Grub Street, the country’s largest and leading independent creative writing center. He is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels, A Kiss from Maddalena (Algonquin Books, 2003)—winner of the Massachusetts Book Award in 2004— The Saint of Lost Things (Algonquin, 2005), a BookSense (IndieBound) Notable Book; and All This Talk of Love (Algonquin, 2013), a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Literary Award. The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, a collection of essays on point of view in fiction, was published in 2016 by Graywolf Press. His newest novel is Leading Men, for which he received Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Leading Men was published in February 2019 by Viking Penguin.
In addition to his work with Grub Street, Christopher is on the faculty and academic board of the Warren Wilson MFA program and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. Christopher was educated at Swarthmore College, received his Masters in English Literature from Tufts University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University.
Selected Awards and Honors
- Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, 2016
- Barnes & Noble/Poets & Writers ‘Writer for Writers’ Award, 2015
- Guggenheim Fellowship, 2014
- Ferro-Grumley Literary Award (Finalist), 2013
- Massachusetts Book Award (Winner), 2004
“…this is an alert, serious, sweeping novel. To hold it in your hands is like holding, to crib a line from Castellani, a front-row opera ticket.”
-The New York Times
“This is a tale of love and loneliness, the personal costs of genius and its attendant fame, and of the ultimate, inconsolable pain of loss. In its depiction of Americans in Europe, its closest literary cousin might be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night.”