André Aciman Discusses Follow-Up Book to 'Call Me By Your Name' in New Interviews

by Sam Cronin

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday October 22, 2019

Enigmatic Egyptian author André Aciman is the man indirectly behind one of 2017's smash hit films, "Call Me By Your Name," as he wrote the book a decade ago that director Luca Guadagnino would eventually adapt. The movie went on to win the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film, and Aciman's book enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, selling 800,000 copies in the US and Canada alone, according to his publisher.

Now, Aciman is making a somewhat reluctant return to the world and characters of "Call Me By Your Name" in his new book, "Find Me." He sat down with both Time and Vogue to discuss the new novel. Check out some highlights from the two interviews below, and make sure to read the full versions at the links mentioned.

On returning to the characters, Aciman said not to consider "Find Me" to be a direct sequel...

"I started with Elio — now he's 21 or 22 years old and he's in his third year of college, blah blah blah," Aciman told Time. "I said, 'This is too stupid. It's not working.' I figured I'd better give up."

"The characters never leave you," he said to British Vogue. "I can't tell you the number of times I've attempted to take them up and go on with their lives. I always started with Elio as the main character, which I realised, subsequently, was a big mistake. Then, just by pure happenstance, I began writing about the father, and then I knew Elio was going to show up from the wings — and I knew I had a book. It was just a question of picking different dates at which they'd be telling their stories, and we have 10 years later, 15 years later and 20 years later, exactly within the space that was opened up by 'Call Me By Your Name.'"

Time goes on to report that the new novel is "more concerned with lovestruck conversations between burgeoning couples," than with the internal monologues of the first book. The setting is said to be "idyllic," and the characters unburdened by prejudice or financial strain. The drama, according to Aciman, comes from inside.

"My belief is that whenever you go into somebody's head — anyone's head — it's all insecurity," he says. "It's all doubt, it's all reluctance, it's all inhibition, shame, that's all it is. There are sparks of desire that keep us interested in real life, but ultimately there's something suffocating all of us. I live with that fear that in a minute, everything could go away."

Talking with Vogue, Aciman seems to say that "Find Me" will close out the story of Elio and Oliver.

"They are clearly more mature now and know how fragile life can be," Aciman told Vogue. "They have both had other relationships, they know that they have to be careful and that a separation, should it occur again, would be devastating. 'Find Me' gave me a sense of closure and finality. Of course, life is full of surprises and no road is without bumps or wrong turns. But I think this ends the tale of Elio and Oliver."

Check out the rest of the interviews in the links embedded, and look for "Find Me" on shelves October 29.

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