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Call Me by Your Name's Author Reveals Elio Finds an Older Lover

Call Me by Your Name's Author Reveals Elio Finds an Older Lover

Elio

Andre Aciman teases details of a reunion between Elio and Oliver in his sequel, Find Me -- and an intergenerational romance as well.

Elio and Oliver -- the star-crossed lovers at the center of Call Me by Your Name -- will reunite in the acclaimed gay novel's sequel, Find Me. The book place over a decade after the pair fell in a love during an idyllic summer in northern Italy in the early 1980s, when Elio was 17 and Oliver was a 24-year-old graduate student staying with his family.

However, this reunion is only a small part of the novel, as teased by author Andre Aciman in a recent interview with British Vogue. The book is segmented into two primary parts: Elio's father, Sami, begins a relationship with a younger woman whom he meets on a train. In a parallel storyline, Elio, now a professional piano player in his 30s, sparks a romance with an older man named Michel.

This issue of age disparity in romance was a topic Aciman, 68, wanted to tackle in his latest work.

"I love the mix of young, old, old, young; the fact that one provides the kind of energy that the other probably lacks, and the older person provides the stability, the gentleness and the wisdom that comes with age," Aciman said in the interview. "I find that more interesting than having this kind of sublime parity between people: she is 45, he is 45."

(Related: How a Straight Man Wrote Call Me by Your Name)

Toward the new novel's conclusion, Aciman does eventually bring about the reunion between Elio and Oliver, who has become a professor in an unhappy marriage living in New York City. However, the pair has a far different outlook on life since their halcyon days.

"They are clearly more mature now and know how fragile life can be. They have both had other relationships, they know that they have to be careful and that a separation, should it occur again, would be devastating," Aciman said. "Find Me gave me a sense of closure and finality. Of course, life is full of surprises and no road is without bumps or wrong turns. But I think this ends the tale of Elio and Oliver."

Although both Elio and Oliver have experienced "bumps" and "wrong turns" in life, these characters -- in either Call Me by Your Name or Find Me -- have not faced hurdles like homophobia or even the impact of the AIDS crisis, which was decimating the gay community during this time period.

While some have criticized Aciman for being rosy-eyed, the author stands by his portrayal of a romance unclouded by the specter of stigma. "People know they're gay and nobody thinks twice about it, which is how it should be -- and I have to say, in the world I live in, this is how it is," he said.

Additionally, Aciman shared he loved the adaptation of Call Me by Your Name into the acclaimed 2017 film directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer and would be "happy to participate in writing the screenplay" to its sequel -- although "I don't know that it's being talked about now. They're all extremely busy." The screenplay for Call Me by Your Name was written by James Ivory, who is gay, and he won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, making him, at age 89, the oldest winner of a competitive Oscar.

He also did not mind that the naughty peach scene from the novel -- in which Oliver eats a fruit filled with his lover's seed -- was tempered for a film audience to avoid its consumption. "When I wrote the scene, I was enjoying myself. But when you write it, it's one thing. I thought eating the peach would be too strong on-screen," said Aciman. "I loved the way it was done. I didn't need to see him eat the peach, I didn't need to see raw sex -- it's fine, it's just fine."

Watch Aciman talk more about how he authored Elio and Oliver's romance in his 2018 interview with The Advocate below.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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