Considered one of the defining works of contemporary gay literature, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age-story and romantic novel that meditates on time, desire, and the intensity of the experiences that punctuate our lives and leave a permanent imprint on our memory. Aciman’s debut novel received critical acclaim for its treatment of themes such as sexuality and obsessive love; it won the 2008 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction.
As a romance novel, Call Me By Your Name sets itself apart with its nuanced depiction of both the anticipation leading up to a romantic affair, and the emotional complexity that results after attaining a life-defining relationship.
Its influences include Aciman’s own familiarity with Italy and Italian culture, as well as the nuanced differences of American culture, since the author grew up both in Rome and New York City. His expertise in comparative literature comes through in the myriad of texts referenced throughout the novel, from the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus to the Jewish German-language poet, Paul Celan.
A film adaptation of the novel, directed by Luca Guadagnino, was released on November 24, 2017, to critical acclaim, winning the prize of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 90th Academy Awards.