André Aciman (/ˈæsɪmən/;[1] born 2 January 1951) is an Italian-American writer. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, he is currently a distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where he teaches the history of literary theory and the works of Marcel Proust.[2][3] Aciman previously taught creative writing at New York University and French literature at Princeton and Bard College.[4][5][6]

André Aciman
Aciman in 2017
Aciman in 2017
Born (1951-01-02) 2 January 1951 (age 72)
Alexandria, Egypt
  • Writer
  • professor
  • Italian
  • American
Alma mater
GenreShort story, novel, essay, romance
Notable workCall Me by Your Name (2007)
SpouseSusan Wiviott
Children3, including Alexander

In 2009, he was Visiting Distinguished Writer at Wesleyan University.[7][8][9]

He is the author of several novels, including Call Me by Your Name (winner, in the Gay Fiction category, of the 2007 Lambda Literary Award[10] and made into a film) and a 1995 memoir, Out of Egypt, which won a Whiting Award.[11] Although best known for Call Me by Your Name,[12] Aciman stated in an interview in 2019 that his best book is the novel Eight White Nights.[13]

Early life and education edit

Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of Regine and Henri N. Aciman, who owned a knitting factory.[14][15][16][17] His mother was deaf.[18] Aciman was raised in a French-speaking home where family members spoke Italian, Greek, Ladino, and Arabic.[5]

His parents were Sephardic Jews, of Turkish and Italian origin, from families that had settled in Alexandria in 1905 (Turkish surname: Acıman).[6] As members of one of the Mutamassirun ("foreign") communities, his family members were unable to become Egyptian citizens. As a child, Aciman mistakenly believed that he was a French citizen.[19] He attended British schools in Egypt.[13] His family was spared from the 1956–57 exodus and expulsions from Egypt. However, increased tensions with Israel under President Gamal Abdel Nasser put Jews in a precarious position and his family left Egypt nine years later in 1965.[20]

After his father purchased Italian citizenship for the family, Aciman moved with his mother and brother as refugees to Rome while his father moved to Paris. They moved to New York City in 1968.[5] He earned a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Lehman College in 1973, and an M.A. and PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 1988.[21]

Out of Egypt edit

Aciman's 1996 memoir Out of Egypt, about Alexandria before the 1956 expulsions from Egypt, was reviewed widely.[22][23][24] In The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani described the book as a "remarkable memoir...that leaves the reader with a mesmerizing portrait of a now vanished world." She compared his work with that of Lawrence Durrell and noted, "There are some wonderfully vivid scenes here, as strange and marvelous as something in García Márquez

Personal life edit

Aciman is married to Susan Wiviott. They have three sons, Alexander and twins Philip and Michael.[25][26] His wife, a Wisconsin alumna and Harvard Law graduate, is the CEO of the Bridge, Inc., a New York City-based NPO that offers rehabilitative services. She is also a board director of Kadmon Holdings, Inc., and formerly worked as Chief Program Officer of Palladia and Deputy Executive Vice President of JBFCS.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33]

Awards edit

Bibliography edit

Luca Guadagnino and Aciman at a screening of Call Me by Your Name, at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival

Novels edit

Short fiction edit

  • "Cat's Cradle". The New Yorker. November 1997.
  • "Monsieur Kalashnikov". The Paris Review. 181. Summer 2007.
  • "Abingdon Square". Granta. 122 (Betrayal). January 2013.

Non-fiction edit

  • Out of Egypt (memoir) (1995)[2][3]
  • Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language, and Loss (editor/contributor) (1999)
  • False Papers: Essays on Exile and Memory (2000)[2][3]
  • Entrez: Signs of France (with Steven Rothfeld) (2001)
  • The Proust Project (editor) (2004)[2][38]
  • The Light of New York (with Jean-Michel Berts) (2007)
  • Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere (2011)
  • Homo Irrealis: Essays (2021)[39]

Selected articles edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Fear of Dying: A Conversation with Erica Jong". Graduate Center, CUNY. 10 November 2015. Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "André Aciman". City University of New York. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b c "André Aciman profile". City University of New York. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2009. In addition to teaching the history of literary theory, he teaches the work of Marcel Proust and the literature of memory and exile.
  4. ^ "André Aciman".
  5. ^ a b c Meet the author: Aciman says he's all his characters Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Marin Independent Journal, 24 May 2008
  6. ^ a b Kakutani, Michiko (27 December 1994). "Books of the Times: Alexandria, and in Just One Volume". The New York Times. p. 21. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  7. ^ Rosenberg, Gabe (27 March 2009). "Novelist and Visiting Prof. Andre Aciman Shares His Creative Process - Arts". The Wesleyan Argus. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Andre Aciman profile". 18 October 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  9. ^ "Andre Aciman: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle". Amazon. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  10. ^ "20th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Winners and Finalists". 30 April 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Winners of Whiting Awards". The New York Times. 30 October 1995. p. C15. Retrieved 21 September 2009. Andre Aciman, whose first book, Out of Egypt (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995), chronicles his childhood in Alexandria, Egypt.
  12. ^ D'Erasmo, Stacey (25 February 2007). "Call Me by Your Name - By André Aciman - Books - Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  13. ^ a b Ingström, Pia (26 May 2019). "Mor var vild och öm, mormor ett helgon och farmor kall". Hufvudstadsbladet (in Swedish). pp. 38–39.
  14. ^ Epstein, Joseph."Funny, But I Do Look Jewish". 15 December 2003. Archived from the original on 18 December 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  15. ^ Baker, Zachary M. (2009). "Presidential Lectures: André Aciman". Stanford Presidential Lectures. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Deaths: ACIMAN, HENRI N". The New York Times. 15 May 2008. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  17. ^ "REGINE ACIMAN: Obituary". The New York Times. 12 January 2013. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  18. ^ Aciman, André (10 March 2014). "Are You Listening?". The New Yorker.
  19. ^ "Aciman, Toibin among contributors to book on Sigmund Freud". The Independent. 10 March 2022.
  20. ^ Halutz, Avshalom (23 October 2019). "André Aciman on the Parallels Between Jews and Gays, and His 'Call Me by Your Name' Sequel". Haaretz.
  21. ^ "Biography of Andre Aciman". gradesaver. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Revisiting André Aciman's Eccentric Family". The New York Times. 13 December 2019. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 21 September 2022.
  23. ^ "Exodus From Egypt", The Washington Post, 15 February 1995, pg. D02
  24. ^ Walters, Colin. "Visit to 'very small, very strange world'" The Washington Times, 19 March 1995, p. B6
  25. ^ "Henri Aciman Obituary - New York, NY | The New York Times". Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  26. ^ "'Call Me By Your Name' Author on the Film: 'They All Deserve Oscars'". 7 December 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  27. ^ "LinkedIn". Retrieved 24 November 2019.
  28. ^ "Leadership".
  29. ^ "KDMN Company Profile & Executives - Kadmon Holdings Inc". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 17 September 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Stocks - Bloomberg". Bloomberg News. 19 June 2023.
  31. ^ "KADMON HOLDINGS, INC. : KDMN Stock Price | MarketScreener". 21 December 2021.
  32. ^ Liu, Max (2 November 2018). "André Aciman, interview: 'I couldn't imagine writing about people whose sexuality is anything other than fluid'". Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Chiamami col tuo nome". InchiostrOnline. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
  34. ^ Meaney, Thomas (February–March 2007). "Naming Youths". Bookforum. Retrieved 21 September 2009. How strange that Aciman's first novel should run against the Proustian grain.
  35. ^ Ormsby, Eric (24 January 2007). "Nature Loves to Hide". The New York Sun. p. 13. pays its respects to Proust but is brilliantly original....This is a novel of seduction in which the final prize is to win back something small but precious from the coquettishness of memory.
  36. ^ D'Erasmo, Stacey (25 January 2007). "Suddenly One Summer". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 September 2009. This novel is hot. A coming-of-age story, a coming-out story, a Proustian meditation on time and desire, a love letter, an invocation and something of an epitaph, Call Me by Your Name is also an open question. It is an exceptionally beautiful book.
  37. ^ Bobrow, Emily (25 October 2019). "'Find Me' Review: Better Left Unspoken A much-anticipated sequel that dispenses with many of the ingredients that made the earlier book so moving". The Wall Street Journal.
  38. ^ Aciman, Andre (16 June 2004). "Sailing to Byzantium by Way of Ithaca". The New York Sun. p. 1. Proust fans filled the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library on Wednesday for an evening titled 'The Proust Project: A Discussion With Latter-Day Disciples, Admirers, and Shameless Imitators.' The event celebrated the publication of a book called The Proust Project in which Andre Aciman, a professor at CUNY Graduate Center, asked a group of writers to reflect on In Search of Lost Time.
  39. ^ Aciman, André (19 January 2021). Homo Irrealis. Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-36647-7.

Further reading edit

External links edit