Leading Men - One of the Great Love Stories of the 20th Century
'Extraordinary' Lauren Groff, author of Florida
'Blazing... casts a spell right from the start' New York Times
'A novel of rare insight and beauty' Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs To You
PORTOFINO, ITALY. JULY 1953
At a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote, literary sensation Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet the enigmatic Anja Blomgren, an aspiring Swedish actress.
Their encounter will alter the course of their lives forever.
Spanning half a century and featuring a dazzling cast of characters - from Anna Magnani cooking pasta amatriciana in a sun-kissed kitchen in Rome, to Ludovico Visconti barking orders on his latest film set - Leading Men is a heart-breaking novel about life in the shadows of greatness, and a moving re-telling of one of the great literary love stories of the twentieth-century.
'I read Leading Men in one rapt afternoon, and spent hours afterwards just stunned from having been immersed in such a tender, psychologically devastating, and gorgeously precise novel' Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies
'Vividly reimagines the relationship between Williams and Frank Merlo... An alert, sweeping novel. To hold it in your hands is like holding a front-row opera ticket' Dwight Garner, New York Times
'I know of few books that give such a moving account of the indispensable value of genius and its intolerable human cost. This is a novel of rare insight and beauty, and Castellani is a writer of brilliant gifts' Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
'Seductive and steamy' Boston Globe
'Touching' Washington Post
'Dazzling' Entertainment Weekly
'Spectacular' Publishers Weekly, Starred Review