New Stories


by Al Pham

Author: André Aciman

Genre: Fiction

Number of Pages: 260

“Call Me By Your Name,” by Andre Aciman, is the coming-of-age story of Elio, a 17-year-old boy, who is recounting his memories of the happiest six weeks of his life during the summer he met Oliver, the family’s houseguest.

Set in the early 80s in a humble town of Italy, Elio was, unlike most kids of his age, very intelligent, literate and musically talented — the attributes he would use to woo the older man. At the beginning of the story, Elio’s actions are out of lust, but later they become out of love.

Aciman wrote this novel with utmost passion and soaked it with his heart. Throughout the book, each word pieces together a raw yearning for that sought-after eternal love — the love that slips through our fist like sand. Aciman crafts each sentence with such care that at times will bloom a smile on the young and nostalgia for the experienced.

When I first flipped through the pages, I didn’t know anything about the book. I read the first paragraph casually, then reread it much more carefully. It was not anything extraordinarily beautiful, but I was almost as charmed as the main character when Oliver said the word, “Later.”

The story certainly isn’t a page-turner because it doesn’t belong in the plot-driven category, but leisurely you will turn the page to see more of the characters, hear their witty dialogues, and feel the unity of two like-minded individuals. Yet, strangely enough, my favorite part is the brief monologue of the poet Alfredo and his peers about clementization: “There is no first anything, no last anything.”

So, don’t let the homosexual romance shy you away. After all, we are all playing the same game with (or against) time.

Give the book a chance. If not now, maybe later.

“Twenty years was yesterday, and yesterday was just earlier this morning, and morning seemed light-years away.”

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