Andre Aciman was born on January 2, 1951 and was raised and born in Alexandria, Egypt. He was born to Regine and Henri N. Aciman; his mother was deaf and his father owned a knitting factory. Aciman grew up in a home that spoke French, and other family members spoke languages such as Arabic, Italian, Latino, and Greek. Because he and his family were Jewish, they could not become citizens of Egypt, and attended British schools in Egypt. Growing up, he thought he was a French citizen, which was a mistake on his part. He and his family were Italian citizens, which started after they were forced out of Egypt due to more and more antisemitism on the part of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in the year 1965. By the year 1968, they were living in New York City.
He is a distinguished professor at City University of New York’s Graduate Center where he teaches literary theory history and Marcel Proust’s works. He has also taught creative writing (at New York University) and French literature (at Princeton).
“Call Me by Your Name” won a Lambda Literary Award in the Gay Fiction category. His 1995 memoir, titled “Out of Egypt” won a Whiting Award.
He has a BA in English and Comparative Literature that he got from Lehman College in the year 1973. From Harvard he got an AM and PhD in Comparative Literature.
His first book came out in the year 1995, called “Out of Egypt”, and is his memoir. It came about because he wrote book reviews and asked if they would want anything about his life in Egypt. He felt the person was being nice when they said they would like it. He was surprised in their positive response to the book. In the year 2007, “Call Me by Your Name” was released, and is his debut novel.
He started writing in the sixth grade, which he feels is a bit of a late bloomer. At first, he wrote poetry; it was not until he was around fifteen that he wrote creative prose of any kind. He read a lot, but only classic novels and would not read anything that he felt was contemporary. It was not until he read “The Scarlatti Inheritance” by Robert Ludlum that he realized there was no way to write in the spirit of Classicism. This is what formed his own sensibilities.
“Call Me by Your Name” is the first novel and was released in the year 2007. A young boy and a summer guest at his parents’ mansion have a romance with each other on Italian Riviera. They are not prepared for the consequences they will face for the attraction they have, and they each feign indifference for one another.
During the summer that follows, a lot of fear, desire, fascination, obsession, make their passion boil over. This is as they test the charged territory that lies between the two boys. It is a romance that can hardly have come from just six weeks of knowing each other and it marks them for their whole lives.
What they conjure up on the Riviera and during a steamy night in Rome; it is something both are afraid they may never feel again: real and total intimacy.
Fans of the novel feel this book is more than just the tropes it is made up of; it transcends those for something much deeper. Andre writes with a very poetic writing style, and you must enjoy reading books with great use of language to enjoy this novel. The novel is not about the story at all, but more about the poetry that Andre is writing with. The ending of this book devastated some, once they knew that it was over.
“Eight White Nights” is the second novel and was released in the year 2010. A man about to hit his thirties goes to a huge Christmas party thrown in Manhattan and meets a woman. She only has a three word introduction for him: “I am Clara”. For the next week, they meet up at the local cinema. He is overwhelmed, but does not make a move. He treads carefully the whole way, because he does not believe love is possible.
The tension builds to a boil, that is full of hope, distrust, and mixed feelings. The final scene has magic and is set on New Years Eve.
The story puts you right in the mind of a neurotic person as he falls in love with a woman. It is something for the right sort of reader and feel it is not something that will have a payoff really quick. Fans of the novel found the characters in this to be well written and feel like real people. Andre writes stunning prose that makes you imagine each image as it is described. Some cried upon finishing the story, as the story was just a beautiful read that touched them at their core.
“Harvard Square” is the third novel and was released in the year 2013. Cambridge in the year 1977. A Jewish Harvard graduate student from Egypt desires to be an American professor. He starts neglecting his studies when he starts spending time with Kalashnikov, who is an Arab taxi driver that is full of charisma and brash.
They seduce strangers, swim naked in Walden Pond, barhop in Cambridge, and criticize America’s current state. Finals approach for the grad student, and his buddy is facing getting deported. It puts him on the horns of a dilemma, either he can buckle down and study (losing his friend), or set aside his goals of the New World and help his Old World friend (losing his New World dreams).
This author’s work is more about the response you have to the words and characters’ relationship more than the plot. The author is able to describe some of the scenery with love and care, conjuring the images up for readers. Fans of the novel feel this is more of a memoir, as the events being described seem like they are something real and not just a fictional tale. Everyone who reads and likes this author’s work feel that the novels are beautiful, poetic, and you feel like you are on the journey with the main characters. The stories are about what you feel, not so much a roller coaster ride of plotting.
|Call Me by Your Name||(2007)|
|Eight White Nights||(2010)|
Short Story Collection
Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books
|Out of Egypt||(1994)|
|Letters of Transit||(1999)|