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Recent History

A Novel

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Description

When Luca Carcera is twelve years old, his father moves out under mysterious circumstances. He surfaces across town, in a run-down rooming house, living with another man. Luca is equally surprised by his mother’s burgeoning sexuality after her husband’s departure. And what about Luca’s own adolescent sexual awakening? He has an unusually intense friendship with a boy at school. He’s also drawn to his attractive female neighbor. He can’t choose. He’s overwhelmed by the degree to which sex can shatter the status quo. He shuts down.

We meet Luca again as an adult. His wife wants a child, and that terrifies him. But more terrifyingly still, he’s been married for twelve years — the precise length of time his own father was married when he admitted his feelings for another man — when he gets a phone call that yanks him back to the past he’s tried so hard to ignore. Now he wonders if he’ll do exactly what his father did.

With this extraordinarily intelligent and sensitive exploration of sexuality — what it means to look deep within oneself and resist looking away — Giardina plumbs great emotion depths with his trademark literary grace.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 01, 2001 – Ticklish issues of sexual identity, class and intimacy wreak frightening confusion in the life of an Italian-American boy growing up in 1960s Massachusetts. In playwright and author Giardina's introspective, finely crafted first-person narrative, 11-year-old Luca Carcera finds his life upended by a series of baffling changes. A sensitive only child who is often frightened by the sounds of his parents' lovemaking, Luca adores his taciturn father, a man who "gave the effect of there being at least two of him, two things not fighting it out so much as living inside of him in some interesting kind of harmony." Luca's father is an accountant who builds his family a new housein a community envisioned as a step up the social ladder. But one year later, he abruptly abandons his wife and son, leaving Luca heartbroken and confused. Eventually, Luca learns that his father is living with another man. By age 13, Luca's relationship with a gay classmate clouds his understanding of his own sexuality. Through high school and college, Luca experiences feelings for girls and boys, but largely represses both. Twelve years later, he is happily married, but still stricken by what his father calls " lovely manly fear that sleeping with a man makes you something. Something irrevocable... if a man even once, and, God forbid, likes it... well, that's it, isn't it?" Now that fear threatens his marriage, and Luca must delve deeper into his personal history to find a saving peace. Giardina (The Country of Marriage; A Boy's Pretensions; Men with Debts) draws the reader into Luca's life with a candid, insightful narrative that probes important subtleties of identity and honesty, although the occasional withholding of information for dramatic effect seems too manipulative a technique for this otherwise frank exploration. 5-city author tour.
Recent History
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Mar 13, 2001
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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