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5 Romance Books the ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Author Highly Recommends

André Aciman, the author responsible for writing one of the best literary romances in history, is sharing his book recommendations for readers who are true romantics at heart.

 

The Call Me By Your Name author took to The Guardian recently where he reflected on the Jean de la Bruyère’s idea that, “We love only once in our lives: the first time.” In celebration of the fierce, involuntary, and complexity of a first love, here are Aciman’s top 5 book recommendations about first love.

 

1. Olivia by Dorothy Strachey

 

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Aciman’s synopsis:

 

It is the tale of the awkward and muffled love between Olivia, a pupil in an all-girls boarding school in France, and her headmistress. The tension of silent, knowing glances and mutual attraction is built ever so delicately, until it explodes one night when the headmistress is heard lingering outside the young pupil’s bedroom. No one knocks or opens the door, and nothing ever happens or is said between them. And yet they are both entirely aware of the indelible feeling of what might have been.

 

 

2. First Love by Ivan Turgenev

 

book cover

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Aciman’s synopsis:

 

[First Love] captures every young person’s exploration of adolescent love. Vladimir is 16, and has a crush on Zinaida, who is 21 and surrounded by a group of young suitors. Again, nothing ever happens between the two, but the final revelation leaves Vladimir feeling distraught. He discovers that none of her suitors was taken seriously, because the one who truly mattered to Zinaida was Vladimir’s father.

 

 

3. The Princesse de Clèves by Madame de Lafayette

 

book cover

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Aciman’s synopsis:

 

This is the story of Mademoiselle de Chartres who is 16 and destined to marry the Prince de Clèves. He is madly in love, she is not. He is fully aware of this, she is too young to know. But as soon as she spots the Duke de Nemours she is as taken by him as he is by her. There are so many obstacles thrown between them that they hardly ever speak. Besides, they are always in public, seldom alone, and yet they are constantly reading each other’s moves and motives, always intercepting signals that shout their love – which is never consummated.

 

 

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

 

book cover

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Aciman’s synopsis:

 

Emily Brontë’s novel tells of the obsessive, destructive love between Heathcliff, a foundling, and Catherine Earnshaw, the daughter of the man who brings him home one day. Whatever blossoms between them starts when they are children growing up together in the same household. “He’s more myself than I am,” says Catherine. There was never a more direct way of describing chaste, adolescent love.

 

 

5. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 

 

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Aciman’s synopsis:

 

In all these stories we relive the first love we glimpsed but had to let go. Always slightly unreal yet, as a memory of desperate yearning, it exerts a pull that never loses its intensity.

 

 

 

Feature Image shows “Abbey Garden Scene With Fountain” by Regina Ferrite. Image Via Fine Art America.