Anthony Giardina Recent History: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780375759383

Recent History: A Novel

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9780375759383: Recent History: A Novel
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In 1962, twelve-year-old Luca Carcera’s father suddenly moves out of the house under mysterious circumstances and surfaces across town in a run-down rooming house, living with another man. This event casts a long shadow over Luca’s own sexual coming-of-age, calling into dramatic question every relationship he develops—or fails to. Years later, Luca enters his own marriage harboring a sexual secret that, in an earlier era, might have remained a secret, but which now forces him to confront, in the most painful way, the strictly demarcated boundaries of male sexuality.

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From the Publisher:

Further Reading

Though a vast of and well-documented canon of Gay Literature now exists, the specific subject of Recent History- the manner in which the two tides, gay and straight, meet and mix in the individual body- hasn’t yet produced a significant body of literature.
Of what does exist, the most sensitive treatment I’ve come across is Michael Cunningham’s A Home at the End of the World, about the enduring, sometimes erotic friendship of two young men. William Maxwell’s The Folded Leaf explores the same territory, though, having first been published in 1945, it is sometimes maddeningly elusive about the subject of homosexuality. (Until, that is, one amazing sentence near the end.)

The gay novels that have taught me the most- and that say the most trenchant things about the straight world- are Mark Merlis’ American Studies and David Leavitt’s hilarious novella “The Term Paper Artist”, collected in the volume Arkansas.

Among the literature of earlier periods, I like Marguerite Yourcenar’s Alexis, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, and D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, though, even after several readings, it still baffles me exactly what Lawrence was suggesting is possible between straight men. The fault, I’m almost sure, is mine, not Lawrence’s.

Finally, there are a number of plays and films that have treated this material. At the top of the list of plays would be David Rabe’s Streamers, strong in its presentation of the sexual currents drifting around an Army barracks during the time of the Vietnam War, and David Mamet’s Edmond. The French film Wild Reeds, directed by Andre Techine, , may be the most open-minded film I’ve ever seen about young male sexuality, as well as being, in and of itself, a wonderful movie.

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Praise for Recent History

“Haunting . . . emotionally riveting, reminding us of the importance of accepting love in whatever form it presents itself.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Graceful . . . [Giardina] manages to handle an enormous amount of emotional material with a light touch. . . . [Luca’s] struggle is urgent and real. Giardina makes us care, in the end, what happens to our hero.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“There comes along, every once in a while, a fictional character so compelling that the novel he or she inhabits becomes larger than life. . . . To write such a novel, I believe, is the goal of every writer, and to find such a novel, the hope of every reader. Recent History . . . is such a book.” —The Austin Chronicle

“Giardina has a keen sense of character and an eloquent and soulful style. We are intrigued by his understanding of male sexuality, but we are more captivated by how much he knows about human frailty and growth.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Giardina’s prose is exquisitely tuned to his characters’ hopes, uncertainties and misgivings.” —The Seattle Times

“Gorgeously written.”
—Chicago Tribune

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679456292: Recent History

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ISBN 10:  0679456295 ISBN 13:  9780679456292
Publisher: Random House, 2001
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9780007117758: Recent History

Flamin..., 2001
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Book Description Random House Trade, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1962, twelve-year-old Luca Carcera’s father suddenly moves out of the house under mysterious circumstances and surfaces across town in a run-down rooming house, living with another man. This event casts a long shadow over Luca’s own sexual coming-of-age, calling into dramatic question every relationship he develops—or fails to. Years later, Luca enters his own marriage harboring a sexual secret that, in an earlier era, might have remained a secret, but which now forces him to confront, in the most painful way, the strictly demarcated boundaries of male sexuality. Seller Inventory # BZV9780375759383

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