Sleeping With a Celebrity. Frank Merlo, Tennessee Williams’ partner, gets his story told

Apr 01, 2019 1615

BY: George De Stefano

“Leading Men,” the acclaimed new novel by Christopher Castellani, is the author’s fourth. But, as he told an audience at his March 7 reading at the Calandra Italian American Institute in Manhattan, he considers it his first, or rather, “the first that was fully imagined.”

His previous books (“A Kiss from Maddalena,” “The Saint of Lost Things,” and “All this Talk of Love”) formed a trilogy inspired by the gay author’s Italian immigrant parents and their travels to their home village in south-central Italy. Castellani’s latest is a speculative fiction about the intertwined lives of playwright Tennessee Williams, his partner Frank Merlo, and a young Swedish woman, Anja Blomgren, whom Williams and Merlo befriend while on holiday in the Italian resort town of Portofino. 

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