NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò hosts book launch for Alessandro Giardino’s The Caravaggio Syndrome

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 was in conversation with Annalisa Merelli, journalist, with an introduction by Elena Favilli, Founder and CEO of Rebel Girls.

Watch the entire presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQUH1Wzm-zo

Leyla is a headstrong Brooklyn-born art historian at a prestigious upstate New York college. When she meets feckless young computer technician Pablo at a party, she quickly 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.