This book! Rachman writes a gorgeous, complex, and mesmerizing character study of a man whose life is utterly overshadowed by his artistic parents, particularly his father. Skewering the world of art — both financially and aesthetically — Rachman's flaying is deliciously wicked; that alone could carry this novel, but there's more.
Following Pinch from childhood through young adulthood and into middle age, Rachman manages to capture the repetitive sting caused by a father whose approval is so desperately desired, yet constantly withheld. Stacking up a lifetime of crushing emotional blows, Rachman depicts Pinch as a modern day Jude the Obscure — just never good enough. But Pinch is good at some things, and his way of subverting his pain and paying back the lifetime of criticism he's endured is brilliantly realized. For those who have struggled with hypercritical parents, or never, ever felt adequate, this story is glorious redemption. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"The Italian Teacher is a marvel--an entertaining, heartbreaking novel about art, family, loyalty, and authenticity. Tom Rachman is an enormously talented writer--this book is alive, from the first page to the last." Tom Perrotta, bestselling author of Mrs. Fletcher
A masterful novel about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy, by the bestselling author of The Imperfectionists.
Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear's genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father's attention--first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father's biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father's legacy--and make his own mark on the world.
With his signature humanity and humor, Tom Rachman examines a life lived in the shadow of greatness, cementing his place among his generation's most exciting literary voices.
Tom Rachman on PowellsBooks.Blog
It’s 1955, at a party in a lush Roman palazzo. A wealthy American art collector has invited all the expat socialites — plus one of the great painters of modern art, Bear Bavinsky, a brawny, beardy charmer known for his wildly colored (and wildly sexualized) canvases. As Bear regales everyone with tales of rivals like Picasso and Pollock...