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Book Presentation

The Caravaggio Syndrome

A Novel by Alessandro Giardino

April 22, 2024
6:30 pm

The event will also be broadcast live on our
YouTube, Facebook, and website

Book Presentation
The Caravaggio Syndrome
(2024, Rutgers University Press)

A novel by
Alessandro Giardino, St. Lawrence University

Translated into English by
Joyce Myerson and Alessandro Giardino

With a foreword by
Ara Merjian, NYU

The author in conversation with
Annalisa Merelli, journalist

Introduction by
Elena Favilli, Founder and CEO of Rebel Girls


Follow the event live here:

Leyla is a headstrong Brooklyn-born art historian at a prestigious upstate New York college. Soon after meeting feckless young computer technician Pablo at a party, she becomes pregnant with his child. There’s only one problem: she can’t stand him. And one more problem: her student Michael wants Pablo for himself. Amid this love triangle, the objects of Leyla and Michael’s study take on a life of their own. Trying to learn more about Caravaggio’s masterpiece The Seven Works of Mercy, they pore over the journal and prison writings of maverick 17th-century utopian philosopher Tommaso Campanella, which, as if by enchantment, transport them back four centuries to Naples. And while the past and present miraculously converge, Leyla, Michael, and Tommaso embark on a voyage of self-discovery in search of a new life. In this fusion of historical, queer, and speculative fiction, Alessandro Giardino combines the intellectual playfulness of Umberto Eco with the psychological finesse of Michael Cunningham.

Alessandro Giardino is Chair & Associate Professor of Italian and Francophone Literature at Saint Lawrence University. Born in Naples, he studied at the University of Bologna, UC Berkeley, and McGill University. He has written extensively about Caravaggio’s cultural circles, as well as Italian and French literature.