André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name

BY MEHDI OKASI, Editor-in-Chief

AcimanI read André Aciman’s first novel Call Me By Your Name based on the recommendation of a college professor of mine who e-mailed me about the book. Aciman is perhaps best known for his memoir,Out of Egypt . His first attempt at writing fiction is nothing but successful. The novel is truly sensory, full of passages that make you feel the Mediterranean sun, smell the sun lotion, taste the first sharp bite of an afternoon cocktail and the feel of cool summer nights after having washed the weight of the ocean from your body. But perhaps, best of all, the novel conveys astutely the pangs of longing and what decades can do to unfulfilled love. Yes it’s a novel about a love story between two men, but what saves it from being narrowly categorized as “gay lit” is a fine writer’s astute observations about erotic obsession. Obsession, Aciman seems to suggest, is crucial to loving passionately. It is only in its grips that we understand what love is…that it is terrible and wonderful at the same time. And that is what I loved best about this book…the longing is palpable and it is only in the novel’s denouement where the title of this novel really resonates.