Authors Rebecca Makkai and Christopher Castellani will discuss their latest novels, both capturing pivotal historical moments in gay history. Makkai’s The Great Believers, listed by the New York Times as one of the Best 10 Books of 2018, is about friendship and redemption in 1980s Chicago, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and in contemporary Paris. Castellani’s Leading Men, a historical novel inspired by the romance between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo, is set in 1950s Italy and modern-day New York and Provincetown. Dwight Garner of the New York Times declared it a “blazing” success, “an alert, serious, sweeping novel. To hold it in your hands is like holding . . . a front-row opera ticket.”
Sponsored by Cape Cod Five Foundation
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novel The Great Believers, named by the New York Times as one of the Best 10 Books of the Year for 2018. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the ALA Carnegie Medal, winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s 2018 Best Books. The author of three previous works of fiction and the recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Makkai teaches at Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is also artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago.
Christopher Castellani is the author of Leading Men, as well as 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. Winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, he is the artistic director of Grub Street, Boston’s acclaimed writing center, and a faculty member in the MFA Program at Warren Wilson.