Christopher Castellani "Leading Men" Book Event: Reading & Book Signing

We're very excited to welcome Christopher Castellani "Leading Men" to East End Books Ptown on Friday August 30th at 7 pm! Chris will be reading from his book and signing copies. "Leading Men" is the book of the month at East End Books Ptown. Buy the book in advance on our website. RSVP & get your free ticket via Event brite here.

This book is a remarkable piece of literature!  The book is impossible to put down. You're drawn into the magical world of Tennessee Williams & his lover Frank Merlo along with a cast of unforgettable characters.The imagery is so rich in this book. You feel as if you're on the journey with the characters. The last part of the book takes place in Provincetown.  Chris is the Artistic Director of Grub Street. Chris divides his time between Boston & Ptown.

Illuminating one of the great love stories of the twentieth century - Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner Frank Merlo - Leading Men is a glittering novel of desire and ambition, set against the glamorous literary circles of 1950s Italy

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 surviving copy of Williams's final play.

What keeps two people together and what breaks them apart? Can we save someone else if we can't save ourselves? Like The Master and The Hours, Leading Men seamlessly weaves fact and fiction to navigate the tensions between public figures and their private lives. In an ultimately heartbreaking story about the burdens of fame and the complex negotiations of life in the shadows of greatness, Castellani creates an unforgettable leading lady in Anja Bloom and reveals the hidden machinery of one of the great literary love stories of the twentieth-century.

About the Author

Christopher Castellani is the author of three previous novels (the trilogy A Kiss from Maddalena, The Saint of Lost Things, and All This Talk of Love) and The Art of Perspective, a book of essays on the craft of fiction. He is the son of Italian immigrants, a Guggenheim fellow, and the artistic director of GrubStreet, one of the country's leading creative writing centers. He lives in Boston.

Praise For…

“Vividly reimagines the relationship between Williams and Frank Merlo, and offers intricate thoughts about the nature of fidelity, the artistic impulse, and estrangement . . . [Castellani’s] scenes glitter . . . This book is a kind of poem in praise of pleasure.  Its author knows a great deal about life; better, he knows how to express what he knows. But 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

"A seductive, steamy novel of Tennessee Williams and his lover . . . Castellani's quiet portrayal 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." The Boston Globe

"Real and imagined lives collide as Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo befriend a young Swedish woman named Anja on the glittering Italian Riviera in July 1953. Though entirely fictional, the enigmatic Anja, who goes on to reluctant fame and fortune as an actress, propels this story of desire, ambition, and heartbreak." People

“Gorgeous and sweeping . . . [a] sumptuous work of historical fiction . . . [Leading Men] manages to capture the lightning of these massive artistic figures on the page with such force, it does feel as if you have tiptoed around Williams’s desk in Rome while he was busy writing a masterpiece.” —Interview

"Audacious . . . [Castellani’s] novel not only exults in the historical synchronicities and proximities he has discovered but catches the reader up in its rapture." The New York Times Book Review

"Touching . . . Castellani knows his people . . . and he knows this world." The Washington Post



Event date: 
Friday, August 30, 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
389 Commercial St.
Provincetown, MA 02657
Leading Men: A Novel By Christopher Castellani Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780525559054
Published: Viking - February 12th, 2019

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