Skip to Content

New Classics: André Aciman and Stacey D'Erasmo on Olivia by Dorothy Strachey


Online Event

Thursday, 7:30 pm EDT July 9, 2020

Donate $10 to Help Support Our Programming

Critically acclaimed author André Aciman credits Dorothy Strachey’s Olivia, reissued by Penguin Classics this June with an introduction by Aciman himself, as inspiration for his Call Me By Your Name. He will be in conversation with writer Stacy D’Erasmo (Wonderland, The Art of Intimacy) to discuss the novel’s impact.

Olivia, first published in 1949 and loosely based on the author’s life, is a groundbreaking, passionate, and subtle story of first love. It tells the story of Olivia, a sixteen-year-old girl who is sent from England to a Parisian finishing school to broaden her education. Soon after her arrival, she finds herself falling under the spell of her beautiful and charismatic teacher, Mademoiselle Julie, who introduces her to art, literature, and fine cuisine. But Mademoiselle Julie’s life is not as straightforward as Olivia imagines. As they grow closer, their relationship is threatened by jealousy and rivalry, and the school year seems destined to end in tragedy.



  • Andre Aciman - credit-Sigrid Estrada

    André Aciman

    André Aciman

    André Aciman is the New York Times bestselling author of Call Me by Your Name, Out of Egypt, and Enigma Variations, among many other works. He is distinguished professor of comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he is also the founder and director of the Writers’ Institute.

  • derasmophoto

    Stacey D’Erasmo

    Stacey D’Erasmo

    Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of the novels Tea, A Seahorse Year, The Sky Below, and Wonderland, and the nonfiction book The Art of Intimacy: The Space Between. She is a former Stegner Fellow in Fiction, the recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fiction, and the winner of an Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from the Lambda Literary Foundation. Her essays, features, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times magazinethe New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, the Boston Review, Bookforum, the New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She is an Associate Professor of Writing and Publishing Practices at Fordham University.