Writers in the Loft Presents Award-winning author Christopher Castellani with his New Novel LEADING MEN

Writers in the Loft Presents Award-winning author  Christopher Castellani with his New Novel LEADING MEN

On Tuesday, March 26, award-winning author Christopher Castellani visits with his new novel LEADING MEN, a story of desire, artistic ambition, and fidelity featuring Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and their social circle in 1950s Italy.

The 7pm event includes an author presentation and Q+A, plus a book signing and meet-and-greet. It will be held at The Music Hall Loft at 131 Congress Street, in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

"We're delighted to welcome Christopher with his stunning examination of a complicated true-life love story with an extraordinary cast of characters," said Patricia Lynch, Executive Producer and the night's moderator. "Like a dive off the rocky cliffs of the Amalfi coast, we will be plunged into the depth and drama of Tennessee Williams' world."

In July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress. Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives.

Ten years later, Frank revisits the tempestuous events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits anxiously for Tennessee to visit him one final time. Anja, now legendary film icon Anja Bloom, lives as a recluse inthepresent-dayU.S., until a young man connected to the events of 1953 lures her reluctantly back into the spotlight after he discovers she possesses the only surviving copy of Williams's final play.

What keeps two people together and what breaks them apart? Can we save someone else if we can't save ourselves? Like The Master and The Hours, LEADING MEN seamlessly weaves fact and fiction to navigate the tensions between public figures and their private lives. In an ultimately heartbreaking story about the burdens of fame and the complex negotiations of life in the shadows of greatness, Castellani creates an unforgettable leading lady in Anja Bloom and reveals the hidden machinery of one of the great literary love storiesofthetwentieth-century.

Christopher Castellani is the author of three other novels: All This Talk of Love (2013) - a New York Times Editors' Choice - A Kiss from Maddalena (2003) - winner of the Massachusetts Book Award - and The Saint of Lost Things (2005). His book of essays on point of view in fiction, The Art of Perspective: Who Tells the Story, was published by Graywolf in 2016.

The son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, Delaware, Christopher now lives in Boston, where he works as artistic director of Grub Street, one of the country's leading independent creative writing centers. He is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson College Low-Residency MFA program and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. He has been recently awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the St. Botolph Club. In 2013, he won the Barnes & Noble/Poets & Writers "Writer for Writers" Award in recognition of his contributions to the literary community.

Christopher was educated at Swarthmore College, received his Masters in English Literature from Tufts University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University.


The ticket package for Writers in the Loft: Christopher Castellani with LEADING MEN on Tuesday, March 26, at7pm is $41. In addition to a reserved seat, the package includes a copy of LEADING MEN ($27, hardcover), a bar beverage, author Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet. Packages can be purchased online at TheMusicHall.org, over the phone at 603.436.2400, or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.



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