A sparkling, propulsive new novel from the bestselling author of The Imperfectionists.
Rome, 1955. The artists gather for a picture at a party in an ancient villa. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast canvases, larger than life, is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot.
From the side of the room watches little Pinch--their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, striving to live up to the Bavinsky name; while Natalie, a ceramicist, cannot hope to be more than a forgotten muse. Trying to burn brightly in his father's shadow, Pinch's attempts flicker and die. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, Pinch will enact an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy.
A masterful, original examination of love, duty, art and fame, The Italian Teacher cements Tom Rachman as among this generation's most exciting literary voices.
TOM RACHMAN is the author of two novels, The Rise & Fall of Great Powers (2014) and The Imperfectionists (2010), an international bestseller that has been translated into 25 languages. Rachman, who was born in London in 1974 and raised in Vancouver, studied journalism at Columbia University in New York. In 1998, he joined the Associated Press as a foreign-desk editor in New York, then became a correspondent in Rome in 2002. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Slate and The New Statesman, among other publications. He lives in London.
"Poignant. . . . A sensitive look at complicated relationships that's especially notable for the fascinatingly conflicted protagonist." —Kirkus Reviews
"[An] artful page-turner. . . . A satisfying examination of authorship and authenticity, and a fine fictionalization of how crafting an identity independent of one's parents can be a lifelong, worthwhile project." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A momentous drama of a volatile relationship and the fundamental will to survive." —Booklist, starred review
"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 Perotta, bestselling author of The Leftovers